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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox: Interview/Excerpt/Giveaway

Title: About Last Night
Author: Ruthie Knox
Publishing Info: June 11,2012 - Random House Publishing Group

Sure, opposites attract, but in this sexy, smart, eBook original romance from Ruthie Knox, they positively combust! When a buttoned-up banker falls for a bad girl, “about last night” is just the beginning.

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?
Ok, the blurb sounds good, right?  Right!  But that's not all we have for you today!  I got a chance to interview author Ruthie Knox this time around, and that interview is below along with an excerpt for About Last Night  and a book giveaway!  How fantastic is that?? 


Hi Ruthie!  It’s nice to “see” you again!  Thank you so much for taking the time to visit Fictional Candy again!
You, too! It’s great to be back.

First things first, you are on your second book tour.  This time around it is for your novel About Last Night.  Can you tell our readers a little something about this story?
Absolutely. About Last Night is one of those bad girl, rich boy stories—but with a twist. Okay, with a number of twists. The heroine, Cath Talarico, is a reformed bad girl from Chicago, trying valiantly to make something of herself in London. The hero, Nev Chamberlain, is a privileged banker from an aristocratic family. Cath thinks of him as “Prince Charming in a suit”—way too uptight, and veddy, veddy English. But when Cath gets suckered into a blind date, has one too many drinks, and falls off the reform wagon in a big way, Nev comes to her rescue, and the next thing she knows she’s waking up in his bed. Oops.

Only, Nev isn’t at all like Cath expects him to be, and from that first morning at his flat, Cath has to start re-evaluating what she thinks she knows about him—and the harder she falls for him, the more she has to re-evaluate what she thinks she knows about herself, too. Ultimately, it’s a book about the redemptive power of love...about how looking at ourselves through someone else’s eyes can help us forgive ourselves for past mistakes and find a new way forward.

And how does it feel, being on a second tour?  I hope you are enjoying your success!
It feels great! And also a little scary. I’ve been so delighted with readers’ reactions to Ride with Me, I can’t even tell you—but this book is quite a bit different from the first, which was a fairly light-hearted romp across the country. About Last Night is funny, too, and certainly in the same style, but it has darker themes and a more difficult heroine. If Ride with Me was Tom’s book, About Last Night is definitely Cath’s, and I think romance readers tend to be harder on heroines than heroes (I know I am). So I have my fingers crossed that Cath will find an audience who loves her as much as I do. :-)

Let’s talk covers.  You have terrific covers for your books.  I’m especially appreciating the cover for About Last Night! How do you go about picking covers?
I’d love to take credit, but it’s all my editor Sue Grimshaw’s doing—hers, and the wonderful production team at Random House. Actually, the titles are, too. I’m rotten with titles. So I send the books to Sue, she buys them, and then she brainstorms titles until she finds the perfect one, while I twiddle my thumbs unhelpfully. She also comes up with cover concepts for the books, which I weigh in on, but truly, Sue doesn’t need me. She knows what she’s doing! This cover is just perfect for the story—sexy as all get-out, it captures Nev to a T, as well as the slightly darker, more erotic mood of the book. I love it!

And I see you’ve sold a couple more titles to Loveswept.  Can you share some info about these novels?
Yes, I’m delighted to have sold them two more books for 2013. Right now, they’re called Man for the Job and Man for the Moment, but those titles might change. Sue hasn’t worked her magic on them yet. These are both longer books—single-title rather than category romance length—about a brother and sister, Caleb and Katie Clark, who both find love when they’re not remotely looking for it. They’re sort of small-town romance, sort-of bodyguard books, but if you’ve read my first two novels, you’ll probably have gathered that I’m not much good at writing “typical” stories, so don’t expect Navy SEALs and quaint flower shops. These are funny, slightly wacky books with wounded characters and lots of hijinks. Think “snowstorm sex in the backseat of an SUV” rather than “dramatic bodyguard rescue from hailstorm of bullets.” :-)

So Ruthie, what else can we expect from you in the upcoming year?  Any interesting tidbits of news that you can share with us?
Those books are most of it! I should also have a novella coming out around Christmastime (which I’m currently brainstorming, but it may well be a rewrite of / homage to It’s a Wonderful Life), and possibly another one in the first half of 2013 with a “strangers on a train” theme that’s set at the National Railroad Museum (sounds weird, but it works, I promise). I’ve got a bunch of other proposals out there, and I’d really love to write a sequel to Ride with Me about Tom’s sister, Taryn. I’ve already written a sort of “prequel-to-the-sequel,” so I know where that’s going. Too much to write, too little time!

Ok, a really difficult question… If you could swap places with any character from a book for one day – who would it be, and why?
Ooh, that is a tough question. Hmm. The adult me would like to swap places with any number of romance heroines, purely for the pleasure of getting my greedy little paws on certain heroes. Like, I would love to be Tara in Jill Shalvis’s The Sweetest Thing, because then I could have Ford. *swoon* But actually, characters in novels are usually having such a difficult time of it, I’m not sure I’d want to be them! I like my life to be as smooth and placid as possible.

How did you become a writer?  And do you have any advice for new authors?
Am I a writer now? Huzzah! Seriously, I started writing on a bit of a whim about a year and a half ago. I had been reading a lot of romance, I had an idea for one, so I wrote it. Then I wrote another one. Then I wrote another one. The third one ended up being Ride with Me, and after a complete rewrite, the second one became About Last Night. Now I’m up to... eight or nine? So I don’t really feel like a writer yet. I feel like more of a fluke.

But lest I be burned at the stake by other writers who’ve had a harder time of it, I’ll say that I’ve been working with word manipulation for all of my adult life, plus I’m a crazy-avid reader. I was an English and history double major in college, I earned a Ph.D. in history (which involved writing a master’s thesis, an article, and a coherent 300-page dissertation), I worked for a publisher in North Carolina, and then I started an editing business specializing in picking apart and fixing other people’s broken books for a living. If I have any advice for other new authors, it’s that words aren’t precious. Be willing to tear what you’ve got apart and rewrite it from the ground up. The first draft is usually just an exercise in teaching yourself what this book is all about—it takes more than one go at a book to write the best possible version of it.

Do you have a favorite “auto buy” type of author?
I have lots! I love Sarah Mayberry, Jill Shalvis, Courtney Milan, Eloisa James, Jennifer Crusie...I could go on. And I also have a circle of author buddies, most of whom became my friends after I stalked them because I loved their books so much—Meg Maguire (who also writes as Cara McKenna), Delphine Dryden, Faye Robertson (who also writes as Serenity Woods), Gina Leigh Maxwell, Serena Bell (still unpublished, but it won’t be long), Edie Harris, Charlotte Stein, Amber Lin...I can’t recommend these women’s work highly enough.

Alright, let me set this scene… you are stuck in a room (kind of like being stuck on an island, but probably less bugs) and you are allowed to eat only one thing for….let’s say for a week.  What’s it going to be?
This is really sad, but I gave up sugar for the whole year (I know), and as a result I’ve completely fallen in love with Triscuits and sliced, hard Parmesan. It’s my indulgence right now. I could probably eat it for a week and still love it.

Can I also have a bottle of Scotch? (Uhhh yeah!!!)

Ok, last one… let’s see… If you were not an author, and you could have any job you wished, what would it be?
I can’t think of anything—author is a really great job! I’m currently working two other jobs in addition to “author,” so my wish is to get to be an author full-time. If and when that happens, get back in touch, and I’ll let you know what I’ve started daydreaming about becoming instead...

Ok fantastic!  Thank you so much for your time, and Good Luck on your tour!!
Thank you for having me!

I can say that was a lot of fun interviewing Ruthie!  If you are interested, here is my previous post with her regarding her book, Ride With Me.  click HERE.  Ok, let's get to that excerpt! Here that is:

ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox, Excerpt

And here is where you can learn all the different ways to stalk follow Ruthie!

Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.

These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Her debut novel, Ride with Me, came out with Loveswept (Random House) in February.

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