Please join us in giving a warm BLI welcome to New York Times and National Bestselling Author Jaci Burton! Jaci is known for writing sensual, compelling love stories that will tug at your heartstrings and her latest publication is no exception. “The Perfect Play“, the first of Jaci’s “Play By Play“ series hit the stands yesterday, February 1st, and IMHO she scored a touchdown with this story! Be sure and read the end of the post as Jaci is offering a chance to win a copy of one of the awesome books from her extensive backlist!!
Thank you so much for joining us here today Jaci!
Jaci: Thank you for inviting me Lea!
BLI: Jaci can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been writing for almost ten years now, published for seven. I live in Oklahoma with my husband and dogs. Between us we have three children, all grown. We love the outdoors, which means summer is my favorite season—gardening and riding the Harley!
I’ve written over fifty novels in multiple genres from contemporary to erotic romance to paranormal romance, and I have a new romantic suspense series releasing with MIRA later this year.
BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Coffee, email, browsing the internet while I wake up, followed by writing. Planning is done at the beginning of a book—sometimes. Every book is different. If I’m contracted to turn in a synopsis, then that’s the planning part. Otherwise I’ll just start writing the book. I don’t have a set method.
BLI: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Jaci: A reader is someone who occasionally picks up a book when there’s nothing better to do, who could go months and months or even a year without reading a book. A real Book Lover is someone who has to read, who reads every day, who counts reading as one of the things they love to do—they must do. A Book Lover covets stories and series and can’t wait for the next to come out. At least this is how I view my love of books and the characters within them written by some of my favorite authors.
BLI: What can we expect of “The Perfect Play”?
Jaci: A wonderful romance. Football! A hero that will sweep you off your feet. A smart heroine you’ll root for. A smartass but fun teenager. A loving, tight-knit family. Amazing friendships. Heart tugging emotion. Heartbreak. Hot, wicked sex that will curl your toes. An awesome happily ever after.
BLI: Book Bloggers far and wide have been salivating over the cover art for “The Perfect Play” since you first debuted it. And, I have to say, it suits Mick Riley, the hero of the story. I did some scouting around and here are a few of the comments on various blogs and websites in reaction to the cover:
• “man that is one HAWT cover”
• “Arrrroooooooo” (lol – I think that is supposed to be a wolf howl!)
• “OMG I think I’m going to swoon”
• And finally my personal favorite – “I’m going to buy the book so I
can lick the cover!” LOL
I think I am going to just sit and admire mine.
What was your reaction when you first saw the cover art?
Jaci: I’m pretty sure I squealed like a girl. Then cried. When an author gets awesome cover art like that, we know we’ve hit the jackpot. A cover like that can make a book, because readers will be drawn to the cover first. I want them to see the kickass cover and want to read the book (and hey, the insides of the book are pretty darn good, too!)
BLI: You captured the lifestyle of a pro athlete so superbly, the plays from a quarterback’s perspective during a game, as well as, how the competitive drive permeates every aspect of his life. Were you able to speak with a quarterback as part of your research?
Jaci: Oooh, thank you! And oh, I wish I’d had the ear of a quarterback. But no. But I love football, have watched it since I was a kid. I’ve watched and read extensive interviews of athletes, and one of my sons was an athlete for many years. The one thing I came away with after researching was that many athletes are driven and focused not only in the game, but away from it, too, not only in a game situation but in their personal endeavors. I’ve molded my Play by Play heroes after the goal oriented athletes I’ve read and seen.
BLI: As I mentioned in my review, what impressed me about “The Perfect Play” is that I found it to be a very special and very hot erotic romance, between two people who are at the crossroads of their lives for different reasons. However, I also loved the story because it was about a close knit family, the Riley’s. You succeeded in showing the respect and love that Mick, his brother Gavin and sister Jenna have for their parents but the boys are especially close to their mom, Kathleen. It was telling that it was his mother Mick turns to when things get really rocky between him and Tara. I had the sense you have a good understanding of what it’s like to raise boys after reading this book. I had to wonder if you have first hand experience raising sons Jaci?
Jaci: Thank you! And I do. I have two sons, and a very tight bond with both of them. Both my boys couldn’t be more different from one another, but they’ve always been very close to me. I gave them both the freedom to make their own choices, but they’ve always known I’m always here if they need me. I think a mother’s bond with her sons is a unique and very special thing. You do have to let them go when they grow up and make their own way (I hate clingy mothers!), but always be there for them if they need to seek advice.
BLI: I found Tara to be a unique heroine for a number of reasons, can you tell us a little about her?
Jaci: I love Tara, love what she’s managed to achieve with her life. She didn’t have an easy life, and what she’s done with it is nothing short of remarkable. So she’s very careful and very protective of those she loves, and also a little afraid of the good things that happen to her, because she hasn’t had a lot of that in her life. And Mick is just an overwhelming amount of good things, and she just doesn’t know what to do about his presence in her life. I love the dynamic between her and Mick, and also the fact that he thinks it’s all about what he can do for her, when in fact she’s a little bit of his savior, too, and he doesn’t even see it coming.
Would you be willing to share a sneak peek of “The Perfect Play” with readers today?
Jaci: I’d love to!
Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…
For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.
As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.
But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.
Mick hadn’t said much for the past few minutes, just seemed to content to stare out the window with her. Tara waited for discomfort to set in, but it hadn’t. There was something special about him, something she’d noticed from the start, and it had nothing to do with his career and everything to do with who he was as a man. She liked Mick, liked him more than she had any other man in a very long time. Since she had the entire weekend to herself, why not indulge?
“Would you like some champagne?” He motioned to the bucket sitting on ice. “They delivered it earlier. I think we all got one as a thanks from the owners.”
“I’d love a glass.”
He popped the top and poured some into a glass, handed it to her. She took a sip, the bubbles tickling her nose. “It’s very good. Aren’t you going to have any?”
“I’m more of a beer kind of guy.”
She laughed. “Me, too.”
“Yeah? You’re dressed like a champagne kind of woman. Your sparkly dress even matches.”
She looked down at her cocktail dress. Admittedly, she loved it. Tiny straps hung on her shoulders, the bodice dipped across the swell of her breasts, hugging them tight. It fit her well and was her favorite. “Only when I work events like this. Believe me, there’s no champagne stocked in my refrigerator at home. Only beer and soda.”
“Chips and hot dogs?”
She laughed. “Two of my favorites. I’m sorry to say the elegance only comes out as part of my job. You’ll typically find me barefoot, wearing jeans, with my hair up in a ponytail.”
He examined her near-perfect updo. “So that doo-dah hairstyle isn’t the norm for you?”
“Hardly. It’ll be hell getting all these pins out.”
“Want me to help?”
Heat swirled around her. “And shatter my Cinderella image? I don’t think so.”
“Okay, Cinderella. Your secret is safe with me.”
She sipped her champagne and tried not to openly stare at him, but it was damned difficult, considering it was just the two of them in this room with the lovely view of the city. She stared out the window, still wondering what the hell she was doing here with Mick Riley.
He came up behind her. “You’re a beautiful woman, Tara.”
She turned to face him, wishing he knew the real her. But he never would, because the real Tara was light-years away from his world. “I usually don’t follow strange men up to their hotel rooms.”
He smiled down at her. “You don’t? Damn, and I thought I’d found a sure thing in you.”
Everything he said either made her laugh or made her hot. Why hadn’t some woman grabbed him by the hair and dragged him back to her cave by now? There had to be some chink in this knight’s armor. “Sorry. You should have gone for one of the actresses or models.”
“Not interested in them. They have agendas.”
“What makes you think I don’t?”
“Because I came to you. You didn’t come to me.”
“Maybe that’s part of my evil plan.”
“Honey, I don’t think there’s a damn thing evil about you.”
“I’m hardly innocent, Mick.”
He took her glass and set it on the table, then grasped the lapels of the jacket and pulled her closer. “Is that right?”
Liquid heat rushed through her veins, opening her up to desires and emotions she hadn’t felt in far too long. She normally closed herself off to men. Too busy. Too many other priorities. Right now there was no other priority but the feel of him against her. She leaned into him and tilted her head back, giving him the green light. “That’s right.”
He shifted his fingers, and the fire he’d stoked began to burn even brighter. There was a sizzle of magic between them. She’d be a fool to walk away from that, even if it was only for one night. And that’s all it could ever be—just one night—so why not go for it when she had the chance? Who knew when something this good would come along again? With the way her life was structured, probably never. And she’d have this one hot night to look back on and remember forever.
“I didn’t bring you here to seduce you, Tara. I just wanted to spend more time with you.”
She covered his hands with hers. “Maybe I’m seducing you. You wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings by rejecting me, would you?”
His lips quirked. “I’d never do that.”
“Then kiss me.”
The Perfect Play © Jaci Burton
BLI: Will there be more books in this series? What is next on your schedule?
Jaci: Yes! CHANGING THE GAME, the second book in the series (and Gavin’s story) will release on August 2nd, 2011. I just signed a contract for more books in the series, too. You’ll meet the next character in the series in Gavin’s book. * grin *
I also have a new romantic suspense series releasing with MIRA in November, 2011. I should have more information on HEART OF A KILLER on my website, soon, but you can see the blurb now if you go to my Coming Soon page.
BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Wicked hot romance
Heart tugging emotional connections between the characters
Always a happily ever after
BLI: Do you have a question for readers today?
Jaci: I do. I’d love to know what compels readers to pick up a book? There are so many books out there. Are you dedicated to certain authors and certain series that are autobuys for you, or are you looking for new authors, new series to buy? I have to say that for me as a reader, I’m very dedicated to certain authors and certain series, but it seems every year I’m finding new authors I hadn’t read before and adding more and more books and series to my TBR pile. Usually this is by word of mouth, via Twitter or blog or reviews I’ve read, so I guess my question to readers is a two partner—what compels you to pick up a book, and how do you find new authors to read?
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us here today Jaci! As always it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you.
Jaci has generously offered a copy of one of her many wonderful romances from her extensive backlist to one lucky commenter! This can be a print or e-book depending on availability!
*PLEASE NOTE* A copy of “The Perfect Play” is not included in this giveaway – Thank you.
All you have to do is answer Jaci’s question or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is open worldwide!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 20, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.