Interview Author Toni Blake + Giveaway

Filed in Interview , The Geeky Lover , Toni Blake Posted on January 7, 2011 @ 7:00 am 24 comments

We are really happy to welcome author Toni Blake here at Book Lovers Inc. today. Whisper Falls, Book 3 of Toni’s highly acclaimed “Destiny Series” is now available and has been greeted with rave reviews! Please give Toni a warm welcome. And be sure to check out the end of the post. *wink*

BLI: Toni can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Toni: Let’s see – I’ve been writing since I was ten years old and always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I’m a television addict. My secret ambition is to be a fashion correspondent on the red carpet. And I’m a balance-loving Libra. How’s that for a few random facts? ; )

BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Toni: I write full time, starting around 8 AM and stopping sometime between 6 and 8 in the evening – but along the way I deal with email, eat lunch, and sometimes take a nap. And I’m definitely a planner.

BLI: On your website we found your wonderful photo album about your various vacations. Which was your favorite so far and which is your dream destination? A place you always wanted to go but couldn’t so far?

Toni: Glad you enjoyed the photos! I have three fave places so far: Italy, Hawaii, and the Canadian Rockies. Sorry I can’t narrow it down any further than that ; ) And there are so many places I still hope to go, but the main one is England. Talks for that are currently in the works, so fingers crossed ; )

BLI: Your Destiny series novels are all set in the small-town destiny. Why did you set them in a small-town like Destiny? Are you a small-town kinda girl yourself? What is it that draws people back into the shelter a small-town offers them?

Toni: I grew up in a small town, so it’s a very natural setting for me. And I also feel that right now in this fast-paced, technology-based, post 9-11 world, that many people are beginning to hunger for simpler times and simpler ways of life. Although there’s plenty of action and passion in Destiny, I do hope that maybe it transports readers to a simpler sort of life that they might be yearning for right now or can at least find comforting and relaxing in some way.

BLI: Your novels are always fun to read and never fail to make you giggle. Is it hard for you to bring the right amount of humor in your novels or is it just the way you are?

Toni: I’m delighted to hear this. And the humor pretty much just happens naturally – it’s probably the thing I have to put the least amount of effort into when writing.

BLI: What can we expect of Whisper Falls?

Toni: WHISPER FALLS picks up where SUGAR CREEK left off, and we’ll also see the return of Mike Romo in a key role in this book. Here’s the blurb from the back:

Tessa Sheridan came crawling back home to Destiny after her big city interior design career crumbled. Now not only must she struggle to make ends meet, she has to contend with a biker next door and the roar of Harleys shattering the serenity of her cabin in the woods. Worse still, her sexy bad boy neighbor makes her feel breathless and weak—and shy, petite Tessa knows what a major mistake it would be to get involved with someone so…dangerous.

They say that former teen rebel Lucky Romo has a dark, secret past—that he’s trouble with a capital “T.” Still, Tessa feels all tingly when she sees how well he fills out a pair of tight jeans. And when Lucky invites her into his world, she knows the intense heat sparking between them could lead her somewhere wild and wonderful…and, yes, dangerous!

BLI: Your heroine Tessa Sheridan is suffering from Crohn’s Disease. This is a life long illness which so far has no complete cure. Tell us a bit about this disease and why you chose it for your heroine?

Toni: Crohn’s and related ailments are of personal concern to me as my doctors tell me I have all the symptoms of Crohn’s, just not the diagnosis itself. I feel very fortunate not to have the disease, but I can also relate to what its sufferers endure. Readers can learn more about why I chose to pursue this storyline in the Author’s Note section on the WHISPER FALLS page of my website: http://www.toniblake.com/whisperfalls.html

BLI: We can imagine that your heroine didn’t have an easy life. What can you tell us about her? What keeps her going? How would you describe Tessa?

Toni: I can tell you from firsthand experience that a chronic illness leaves you two choices: you let it rule your life – or you eventually decide NOT to ; ) For Tessa, it’s a matter of will. Her disease has stolen a lot from her, but now she’s at a point where she refuses to let it take any more, a place where she’s ready to fight back and live life on her own terms, as much as humanly possible. Readers will find that Tessa relies largely on looking for the joy in her life, in both great ways and small, and it’s something I have in common with her.

BLI: Your hero Lucky, is the brother of Mike your hero from book 2. Lucky is a biker with tattoos and the bad boy image that accompanies those. Tell us a bit about Lucky and what we can find beneath his bad boy image?

Toni: Well, I think of Lucky as the baddest bad boy I’ve ever written – which is saying a lot. But there are reasons he ended up the way he did, and he’s cleaned up his life since those times. To say much about what’s underneath Lucky’s bad boy exterior would be to give away a lot about the story, but let’s just say that, at heart, he’s ready to be tamed by the right woman.

BLI: Will there be more books in this series?

Toni: Yes, the series is currently contracted for six books. Book 4, HOLLY LANE, will come out next November and is a Christmas story.

BLI: What is next on your schedule? Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?

Toni: The above-mentioned HOLLY LANE : )

I also write erotica as Lacey Alexander, and this coming May will see the release of my first book in “Lacey’s” new H.O.T. Cops series, BAD GIRL BY NIGHT.

Readers can keep up with Destiny at www.ToniBlake.com, and they can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Hmm, let’s see.

1) People tell me my books “win them over” to things they don’t expect to like. For instance, some historical readers have told me they never liked contemporaries until they read mine. Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books didn’t expect to like reading about a chronically ill heroine, but in the end, she did. Many readers who don’t typically enjoy sex scenes tell me they enjoy mine anyway ; ) Which is all very gratifying, by the way!

2) I like to think I put a fresh spin on the small town series by giving my characters pretty deep dilemmas and also by making the books super sexy – these aren’t your grandma’s small town romances ; )

3) My books have a little bit of everything: passion, humor, angst, quaint settings, friendship, alpha males, simple lifestyles, heartwarming relationships – pretty much everything from hot sex to apple pie : )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~*~*Giveaway*~*~

BLI is offering one copy of Whisper Falls to ONE lucky commenter ordered from the Book Depository(make sure you can get books from them).

All you have to do is ask Toni a 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 Thursday January 13th and we will announce the winner on Friday.

Good luck!

About Susi


Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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24 Comments

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  • host January 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Great post! Tessa's story sounds very interesting. I have heard a lot about Crohn’s Disease since one of my friends fights it every day. And as you said it is a matter of choice will you rule your life or you will you let it be ruled by the disease.

  • Sharon S. January 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I know many people with chronic problems including Crohn's. I am very interested in how you work this into the story without it being depressing. I normally read UF/PNR, but you have convinced me I should try this type of romance. I do love a bad biker boy image 😉

  • Elizabeth January 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Sounds like a really good book havne't really hearded of Crohns disease before so that should be intresting

  • ClaudiGC January 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Haven't tried one of Toni's books yet, but would love to. They sound great!

  • Jane January 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Congrats to Toni on the new release. I can't wait to find out where Lucky's been for all these years.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  • Julie January 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I have enjoyed the Destiny series so far and would love to win WHISPER FALLS.
    Toni Blake has never let me down with any of her books.

  • Judy F January 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    HI Toni, I loved this book. Your books always touch a cord with me.

  • Estella January 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I love this series! Can't wait to find out where Lucky has been.
    How do you pick the character names for your books?

  • Stephanie January 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Congrats on the release. I have not read any of your books but I feel like sometimes it is when you have nothing left that you can take chances that will lead you to get everything you thought you could never have.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  • Darlene January 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Toni's comment re: 'win them over' is spot on! Her writing is exciting while still believable. Love it!

  • Mary G January 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I bought & read this book the day it came out. I just loved it. What a hero – bad guy reformed & so needing someone.
    I loved Tessa too. She may have a chronic illness but she had the strength to stand up to anyone who thought she shouldn't be with Lucky.
    I'm saying don't enter me but I might just bring my book with me to Cincy for you to sign LOL.

  • LAMusing January 8, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I don't think I've ever read a romance where the heroine has a chronic condition like Crohn’s Disease, and yet I, and many people I know, do suffer from a life long condition – diabetes, Grave's disease, lupus, etc, so I am FASCINATED to see how you handled this!
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Maureen January 8, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Congratulations on your new book Toni! Some of my favorite heroes are ones that did things they regretted earning them the title of bad boy but it's a pleasure to watch them turn their lives around.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  • Toni Blake January 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Thanks so much for all the lovely comments – I appreciate you all stopping by! So glad to hear that many of you have already enjoyed WHISPER FALLS or some of my other books, and thanks to those who haven't read my work yet but are interested in giving it a try. As for writing about Tessa's condition, I thought it would be a big challenge, but as I suffer from all the symptoms of Crohn's (but do not have the disease – only the symptoms ; )) it turned out to be much easier than I thought, and her attitude and viewpoints on dealing with her ailment pretty much mirror my own.

  • Toni Blake January 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Estella, it's hard to say where character names come from. Generally, it's just a matter of a name feeling "right" for that character in some way, and also, when writing a series, feeling that the name sort of fits into the whole big fabric of the community in some fashion. Though I CAN tell you that the family name Romo which plays a big part in the Destiny series came from my neighbor's dog of the same name : ) I love watching him out the window when I'm working, and it occurred to me one day how his name was only one letter off from Romeo, and how crazy it would drive Mike in SUGAR CREEK if Rachel called him Officer Romeo ; )

  • Soft Fuzzy Sweater January 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I have not finished "Sugar Creek" — (next stop, "Whisper Falls") yet but I wonder, will the mystery of Anna Romo be solved in this or future books?

    I am so glad I "discovered" you. I will make my way through you backlist as time, and budget permits!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    You have beaten out the next "Virgin River"!

    annfes@yahoo.com

  • Barbara E. January 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I enjoy contemporary romance and I think Toni is a fantastic writer. I'm looking forward to reading Whisper Falls.

    Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

  • Tore January 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Do you have any suggestions for someone who wishes to write a book for the first time. Tore923@aol.com

  • mbreakfield January 9, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Since i struggle with a chronic illness myself, I would really like to see how it was handled in this book.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Toni Blake January 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Soft Fuzzy Sweater, regarding Anna Romo, yes, eventually the mystery will be solved, bringing some peace over it to the Romo family, but not quite yet ; )

    And Tore, there is a page at my website for aspiring writers, so I hope you'll check it out. Click on All About Toni and there's a link to the page in the right margin.

    Thanks for the additional comments, all! : )

  • Carol L. January 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    So happy to see you here.I have this series on my TRL. I think it's going to be an interesting read. :)I'd imagine that how the Author has her character dealing with a chronic illness is the key to dealing with chronic illness in a story. Congrats on your newest release Toni.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

  • Jolene Allcock and Family January 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for the interview. I can't believe I've never read any of your books. Really, I should be hit upside the head. I love finding new authors and can't wait to read your work!! I have to say, that my brother in law just moved to Italy, so we are in the planning and saving stages to visit him. It's always been on of my dream places to visit 🙂 Anything that is a must to do or see there?

    june111@att.net

  • Toni Blake January 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks, Carol and Jolene, and Jolene, don't be so hard on yourself ; ) but I DO hope you'll check out my work : ) About Italy, the answer is: There's TOO much there to see. We were there for 10 days and only got to 3 wonderful areas – and it felt like just the tip of a glorious iceberg ; ) But I DO love the Cinque Terre, and it's an area that not everyone knows about, so look it up and try to work it in if you can.

  • Laura H. January 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I'll have to admit when I first saw the giveaway for this book I almost passed it up! Why? Because I, too, am a historical romance kinda gal and don't really get into contemporaries but after reading the interview I'm intrigued by this book. If other historical romance book lovers like this series, I'll willing to try–especially since they're described as "super sexy". Count me in!

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

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