Please join us in giving a warm BLI welcome to multi published & talented Author Katie Reus (who also writes as Savannah Stuart)! Katie writes sensual, suspenseful love stories that will curl your toes and keep you turning the pages to find out what happens to her special characters. Katie’s latest publication Dangerous Secrets was released February 7th from Carina Press, and it is a sexy romantic suspense! Be sure and read the end of the post as Katie is offering a generous giveaway!!
BLI: Thank you so much for joining us here today Katie!
Katie: Thank you for having me, Lea!
BLI: Katie can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Katie: The very condensed, informal bio: I’ve been in love with books since I was a kid and the addiction followed me into adulthood. I finished college, worked a few jobs I hated, then a few years ago I decided to try writing romance since I loved reading it so much. After many many rejections, I now have a fantastic agent who believes in me and in addition to the two contracts I signed last year with Carina Press, I also recently signed a three-book deal with NAL/Penguin for a paranormal trilogy. Not long after that I found out I was pregnant so combined with new deadlines and edits, this year is turning out to be pretty busy!
BLI: Congratulations on your baby news and the exciting contract! Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Katie: I wake up, make a pot of coffee and hit the computer for a few hours. I’ll take a break to exercise and run errands or whatever but when I’m done, I’m back at the computer until my husband comes home. I took the plunge into full-time writing recently so I treat it as a business with ‘business’ hours. As far as planner vs. pantser, I’m a bit of both. I plan out my actual writing schedule months in advance. Like right now I know what book I’ll be working on from week to week, what word count I should hit, etc. all the way until May. Maybe that makes me a freak, but it so works for my sanity. When writing the actual book I’m not that organized. I have a general idea what will happen in the beginning and I know most of the high points (the first meet of the h/h, the black moment, etc.) but it usually starts off with me just knowing the characters. I plot about 3-4 chapters at a time until I hit the 70% mark and then I usually map out the rest of the book in one sitting.
BLI: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Katie: Probably obsession…I think a real Book Lover can’t live without a constant fix of good books. Reading isn’t just a luxury for them, it’s part of their life. A Reader likely falls asleep with their Kindle or paperback in hand. (Ahem, like myself)
BLI: What can we expect of Dangerous Secrets?
Katie: Lots of romance, sexy love scenes and of course secrets. Unlike my next romantic suspense from Carina, the suspense isn’t the main focus in this story. It’s the hero and heroine and their growing attraction and feelings for each other.
BLI: As I mentioned in my review, I think one of your strengths as a writer is your characterization of strong alpha heroes and Dangerous Secrets is no exception. As a reader, I found Adam Marcellus to be extremely sexy but also conflicted in many ways. Can you share a little of his background with readers?
Katie: Thanks! I love alpha heroes and I hate that stereotype that alphas have to be jerks so my guys might be domineering and stubborn, but they always put their lady first.
Adam grew up in a very poor section of New Orleans so being successful is very important to him. His mother basically abandoned him and his brother when they were young with their grandmother. She did come back a few times, once to drop off their half-sister. As the oldest, he worked hard to take care of his family because even though his grandmother was technically their caretaker, he actually looked out for their entire household. Once he graduated high school he joined the Marine Corps and continued to financially support them the best he could. After he got out of the military, he and his brother started a security company and they’ve been tirelessly working to make it a success ever since.
BLI: I agree regarding alpha heroes and Adam is anything but a jerk which you made evident by giving him impeccable manners, he knows how to treat a woman. And, he has a toe curling Louisiana drawl – that I so love.
I’ve read a few of your novels now and have to say I’ve loved every one of your heroes. You seem to like writing about men who have served in the military, special forces in particular. Any reason why characterizing these types of men appeals to you Katie?
Katie: Thank you! Yes, I admit to loving military men. There’s something so sexy about a man in uniform but more importantly I love a man willing to stand up for something he believes in whether it be his country or his woman. I’m married to a former Marine (though according to him there’s no such thing as a ‘former’ Marine) so that’s probably another reason these type of men appeal to me.
BLI: I wanted to talk about the heroine of Dangerous Secrets, Isabelle “Izzy” Ballantine. You established an excellent juxtaposition between her and Adam. Essentially, they come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds and both have trust and commitment issues. Can you tell us a little about Izzy and why a big city girl from a very rich and powerful family ends up tending bar in the small town of Coconut Bay?
Katie: After dealing with a meddling father for so many years, Izzy finally drew the line when her father tried to interfere in her professional career. She still loved him but she needed some real distance between them. At the same time she didn’t want to move too far so she moved to Coconut Bay (a fictional town located in North Florida) close to her home of Savannah, GA. She knew she wouldn’t be staying permanently so she wanted a job she could easily leave and a job in the restaurant business was perfect.
Isabelle Ballantine has been fighting for independence since she was old enough to walk. Now that she’s finally out from under her father’s shadow, she won’t let anyone stand in her way. It’s tough living on her own, working in a bar and keeping her true identity a secret, but things start to look up when a sexy new stranger walks into her life. After working side by side for weeks, Izzy can’t figure out why he won’t make a move.
To cinch the deal of a lifetime, Adam Marcellus agrees to help Izzy’s eccentric father convince his daughter to move home. He’d assumed Izzy would be another spoiled rich princess, but he’s surprised to discover his feelings for her are stronger than anything he’s ever experienced. When a deranged stalker targets her, Adam finds himself fighting not only an unknown threat – but an unexpected attraction to the one woman he can’t have.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Izzy spared herself one last glance in the mirror, then rolled her eyes at her reflection. Adam would be picking her up in a couple minutes and she was worrying herself for nothing. Technically, they weren’t even going on a date. He’d asked if she wanted to get breakfast after the staff meeting. That was it.
Of course that didn’t stop her from putting on a jersey halter-style summer dress that accentuated all her curves. Not that she had many, but she capitalized on the ones she did. She’d only known Adam a few weeks, but every time he’d seen her she was fairly sure she’d been wearing her work uniform. The plain black getup didn’t exactly scream sexy siren. It was time for him to see her in a different light.
Last night he’d looked like he wanted to kiss her. Not because of her last name, and certainly not because of who her father was. Nope. He wanted her just for her. Or at least she hoped so.
She pressed a hand to her stomach and tried to force the jitters away. It was like she was sixteen again and getting ready for her first date. Her doorbell sounded and she jumped. She quickly smoothed on lip gloss then grabbed her purse. Almost as an afterthought, she tugged the hair band from her ponytail and left her hair down.
A second later she opened the door to find Adam standing there. She could feel heat creeping up her neck and cursed her Celtic heritage for the billionth time in her life. Simply seeing him shouldn’t get her all hot and bothered. “Good morning.”
“Morning.” He handed her a Styrofoam cup of what she hoped was coffee.
She shut the door behind her as she stepped outside and took a sip. An appreciative sigh escaped. Irish cream. Her favorite. “Mmm, thanks.”
“Did you look through the peephole before you answered?” he asked.
She glanced over her shoulder to look at him as she locked the door. “Uh…no, but I didn’t think anyone else would be here at six-forty-five in the morning.”
“You should start making a habit of it.”
“You sound like my dad,” she joked.
“I’m serious, Izzy. When I talked to the police last night they asked about the girl’s hair color.” The tone of his voice caused a shiver to snake down her spine.
“It looks like this guy is targeting brunettes. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but as of now that’s the only thing they’ve found in common with the women. Or at least that’s all they’d tell me. You need to start paying attention to the people around you.”
“Oh.” Self-consciously she fingered a dark curl. Technically she had auburn highlights, but she doubted some maniac would make the distinction. And Adam was right. She should have known better.
BLI: Will there be more books in this series (I’m thinking a story about Adam’s brother, Ben would be an excellent read – lol)? What is next on your schedule?
Katie: Eventually I’d love to write Ben’s story though I don’t see it happening until later this year (or maybe early next year). I recently signed a 3 book deal with NAL/Penguin for a paranormal series so for the first time ever I’m writing on a set schedule (one of those books still needs to be written!). Right now I have two things on submission, I’m working on a category length romantic suspense, then after that I’m going to finish book #3 in my contracted trilogy. Oh, and I have another romantic suspense releasing from Carina this August (I’m currently editing that book and it’s kicking my butt). Plus, my editor with them just told me they want the romantic suspense I subbed not long ago so I know I have those edits to look forward to soon. Since I’m having my first baby this summer I’m trying to pack a lot of stuff in the first half of this year since the second half I’ll be taking things much slower.
BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
1. Hot love scenes
2. Happy endings (always!)
3. Alpha males who are NOT jerks. My heroes might be domineering but they always look out for their woman.
BLI: Katie, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us at Book Lovers today! It’s been a real pleasure chatting with you.
Katie: Thank you so much for having me!
*PLEASE NOTE* A copy of “Dangerous Secrets” is not included in this giveaway – Thank you.
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This giveaway is open worldwide!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, March 5, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.