Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reader Chat

Authors are known to also blog. We do it because we like to talk and it also gives us a platform to host each other on, to self and cross promote. I have to be honest.
I. Am. Not. Good. At. This.
But I’m working on it.
                Authors often do blog hops, or host other authors with interviews, or character interviews or little teaser excerpts but I’ve never see an author host readers on her blog. Let’s face it, readers are such an integral and important piece to this big jigsaw puzzle that I can’t imagine why this doesn’t happen more often.
So I took the liberty to do just that. Today I’m talking with readers on my blog.  I had four volunteer fans from my Facebook Author Page  to come have a conversation with me here today.

Why don’t you introduce yourselves a little bit first? Aleesha, let’s start with you.  
Hi! My name is Aleesha and I like to read and play video games! I work at Walmart and am getting married August 3rd! Other than that there is really nothing to tell.
I am Julie Kirsch. I am a housewife and mother to 4 children… my oldest is in college and our baby in Kindergarten.  I have not worked for money in 18 years.  I run the household and the children…I am married to a great man and I am 42 years old.  I recently became a Reader in last fall after my friends begged me to start reading so I could discuss the books!
My name is Kelly. I am a student, a mother, a dental assistant, and a wife. I am studying writing at a community college to earn the college’s writing certificate. I am currently working on two short story projects for class and may compile some of these into a published collection. I may go on to get my bachelors at a different university, but not sure about that path just yet. I am an aspiring writer and I love to read.
                My name is Rhiannon and I’m awesome
What kind of books do you usually enjoy reading? Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I like to read all kinds of books, romance, mystery, not too keen on real scary books though. My favorite authors are Kelly Armstrong, Kelli Evans, and Jill Shalvis.
                J: I like to read romance stories.  I am not a big fan of detailed sex erotic romances. Too much fluff for me!  I love to read Toni Blake, Vivian Arend, and Robyn Carr, Lynda Chance, and Kelli Evans, Sylvia Day.  I prefer Series books!!  I never want the story to end and can appreciate adding new characters and places in a series of books.

K: I tend to read stories with a supernatural/paranormal/horror theme. I also like reading crime stories (serial killers, etc). Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Ted Dekker, Justin Cronin, Tami Hoag, Jeffery Deaver, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins and many more. I do not usually go for straight up romance novels; I prefer something with touch of horror to it.
R: I normally enjoy romance but a good thriller is always fun too. I like Jodi Picoult and Jill Shalvis.
                I have to admit that Jill Shalvis is a favorite of mine too. Wow, you are all such interesting (and sweet) women, and I’m glad to have you here today.  Most of you have read my Whisper Hollow Series, or at least read the first two books and are working on book three right now, correct? ;)  Which book in the series was your favorite, why?

J: Uhh, that’s a very hard question to answer. I liked the 2 books I read… They each brought different relationships and details… Probably book one about Reagan and Reed… I liked their romance and the fact that his daughter was brought into the story… I have 2 teenagers so it was very easy to relate to that type of behavior… Also liked that they met by chance and were very different people. He was so patient with her… it was just a great detailed story that I could not put down!  If it draws you in, and leaves you with a realm of emotions, you know you are getting something out of it… I could relate to this story… The entire divorce between Reed and wife one… I was a child of divorce twice… So, I get all of those emotions.  It was great!!!

K: My favorite book in the Whisper Hollow Series was book one, Lucky Enough. I have read the first two in the series and am getting to book three, but Lucky Enough is definitely my favorite thus far. I love the variety of characters that we are introduced to in this book. I absolutely love the way Reagan and Reed meet for the first time. Each character has their own special personality that makes you fall in love with them, even slimy ole’ Leland. I especially love Reagan’s quirky, humorous personality. It’s a cutsie kind of story, definitely something much different than what I am used to reading, but I loved it!
                A: Hmmm….my favorite book, I would say it would have to be the third book. I love Tad and Candace. But also, I think it’s the easiest to relate to. Many people have a crush on their best friend and many are too afraid to say anything. This book makes you want to go for it and I love that.
                R: Book three was my favorite by far because I loved Tad! He was everything I look for in a hero and it doesn’t get much better. Plus the last book wraps everything up for the whole series and I like to see that all come together, the wedding, the baby, etc.
                All the men in this series are seriously delicious right? But you have to Mary one, Date one, and Dump one? How do they measure up for you?

                K: Yummy? Yes! If I had to marry one it would be Reed. He’s just a big ball of manly sex appeal. He is a mechanic and there’s just something delish about a greased up, hard working, sweaty man. On top of that he is a good father to his daughter, and that is a plus. He is definitely marriage material.  I honestly couldn’t just date and dump any of them; even Joe has some great assets. Joe chooses to do the right thing and even though it seems obligatory, he is dead set on making you fall in love with him.              
                J: I can’t make a definitive answer!  I would marry Reed or Joe!  They both just seemed like wonderful men!  Tad didn’t really do it for me, but I have not started book three.  I loved Joe’s constant desire to want Ronnie. He waited it out and won the girl…
                R: I would marry Joe because he seems the most dependable. I would date Tad because umm he’s sexy! Lol and I would dump Reed well because it’s the only one left.
                A: I would marry Tad, and date Joe, and dump Reed. I love Tad’s sense of humor over all of the other men. He is cute, messy, and funny.
                Whew! I’m glad I’m not answering these questions. That is a tough one. These men are all so great in their own ways. They’re all especially great paired up with their women.                 
                Now what about the women
? Who do you most relate with? Which would you choose to be your Maid of Honor? Who do you trust to babysit your kids? & who would you want for a boss?

                R: I relate with Reagan the most because she’s so funny and klutzy and down to earth and I love it. I would pick Ronnie to be my maid of honor because she has a knack for details lol Reagan to babysit my kids because she’s like a giant kid herself and my boss? Hmm any of ‘em!
                J:  I liked Reagan the most. She seemed to have a good head on, even if a bit disorganized. She was caring and compassionate.  She would be my babysitter and maid of honor… I would even want her for a boss.  She was kind.
K: I find that I related most to Reagan. She is funny, quirky and sexed up. She is a klutz and honestly, so am I. She also doesn’t care too much about keeping things perfectly tidy and will scarf down some ice cream without feeling guilty about it. For me, donuts are my comfort food. Out of obligation, I feel I’d have to choose my twinie as my maid of honor, but I think Candace would be a better match because she seems to be not as tightly wound as Ronnie. Ronnie may decide she wants to be in complete control of everything for the wedding. She may end up being Maid-of-Honor-zilla. I can’t choose between the two on babysitting, however. They would both make a good match for that. As for the boss choice, it would have to be Ronnie because she is really pulled together. She has to succeed and she would make sure those under her want to as well.
                A: I’m not really sure which I most relate with, I am clumsy like Reagan, I like organization like Ronnie, and I have Candace’s sense of humor. I think I would pick Ronnie for a maid of honor because she is super organized and I know everything would go smooth. I would pick Reagan for a babysitter because she is so good with Chloe. I would pick Candace for a boss because she is so laid back.
All such good answers, girls! Again, I don’t know how I’d choose.
If you could spend a day with one Whisper Hollow character which would it be? What would you do?

                K: If I could spend a day with one of the characters it would have to be Reagan. We would have a spa day, gossip about our men, eat sweets, and end the day with a few drinks and a lot of laughter. I like a good laugh and a chance to tell a few jokes and I think Reagan is the girl to do that. It would be a girl’s night out. As women, we don’t get to do that often enough. Don’t get me wrong, spending some time with Reed would be amazing, but there’s nothing like hanging with some friends!
                J: I would spend it with Reed and we would tour his shop!
                R: I would spend it with Tad and I would rather not say what we would be doing! lol
                A: Wow, I would definitely pick Tad and I’m pretty sure everyone knows what we would be doing ;) lol
                Haha!  Well, that all sounds pretty darn good to me.
                Let’s talk Leland, while we only really see him in Lucky Enough (book one) I’m sure you all still remember him and have some strong feelings about him? Tell us what those feelings are.

                J: If I remember correctly Leland was Reagan’s guy that she didn’t marry… No feelings about him, other than disgust.

                Close, Julie! Leland was Reagan’s landlord. You’re thinking of Lance The Lawyer. I think you might have been right on about the disgust part though ;)
                R: I thought he was hilarious!! One of my favorite side characters for sure, you really nailed the gross disgusting pervert lol
                A: I think he is gross. He reminds me of a lot of people I work with. He’s not shy about telling her she’s hot and to wear skimpy outfits. He hits on her despite her efforts to tell him it’s never going to happen. There is one part towards the end of book one where I kind of like him but I don’t remember why.
                K: Leland is a great character for some comic relief. He is disgusting and makes you cringe at the thought of him. He reminds me of Stephanie Plum’s cousin Vinnie(Janet Evanovich). I wouldn’t have been terribly disappointed to see him in some of the other stories, just because he was funny.
                I must admit I have a strange love-to-hate-him soft spot for Leland. He might show up again … if there ever comes a Whisper Hollow 4 … until then tell me, what is your favorite Whisper Hollow Moment?
                K: My Favorite moment was definitely the way Reed and Reagan first met. It was an amazing moment when she just randomly chooses some hot guy at the court house to make out with in attempt to make her ex jealous. From that moment on you just really want the two of them to have a rough and tumble in bed.
                A: One of my favorite moments is when Reagan kisses Reed for the first time. I love how spontaneous it is and it just makes me laugh.
                R: When Candace throws her drink on Tad, it was hilarious.
J: When Reagan and Reed realize they love each other and want to be together.  When he especially realizes that he does not want Reagan to get away, even though his feelings for marriage are NONE… Once he realized that he loves her even more.

                I must be slacking. Every single one of your favorite moments all occur in Lucky Enough, Book One in the series. I better step up my game ;)
Did you laugh, cry, or swoon at all while reading these books? Can you remember what it was that caused that emotion?

                R: I did all three of those things!!
                K: Swooning would include the answer to the last question. Best swoon moment in the series. One that also included a bit of humor and made me laugh as well.
                J: All of the above… these books caused all the emotions and I loved them all…A great books takes you into the story and out of your own personal life story.                
                A: I did a little of everything. I cried near the end of book two, I was going to describe it but I don’t really want to give anything away. I laughed a lot, and if I wasn’t laughing I usually had a huge grin plastered on my face, a lot of times my fiancĂ© would ask what is so funny. I laughed at Reagan quite a bit because she is so clumsy and I kind of felt bad for her too for all the trouble she was getting herself into.

                Are you hoping for a Whisper Hollow #4?  If so, who would you like to see as the main character?
                J: Of course!  I would love to continue reading the series books!  I don’t have a main character, but would like to see how their families grow and the struggles and joys they face in the future.                
                R: That would be pretty cool and maybe it could be Chloe and Shea when they’re a little older?
                K: I wouldn’t mind seeing a teen oriented version for the Whisper Hollow series involving Reed’s daughter and her Boyfriend. It would be a cute read for any young girls out there who are looking for a bit of romance that is acceptable for them to read.
                A: Most definitely! I would eventually like to see what happens between Chloe and Shea. But even more than that I would like to see what happens with Joe’s brother, Dr. Gorgeous lol

                I get asked a lot if I’ll write about Chloe and Shea so I may just have to but Aleesha, you’re barking right up my alley with Dr. Gorgeous. If I ever write a Whisper Hollow 4 I’ll just have to give Dr. Gorgeous his HEA (Happily Ever After) I mean he’s been so patient…
                Okay Ladies, what has been your overall impression and opinion of this series?

                A: I LOVE IT!!! It was a great mix of funny, passion, and real life situations.

J: It was great, fabulous, a wonderful read.
                K: Overall, the series is great! The characters are all developed very well. Each book leaves you wanting to learn more about the girls’ relationships with their men, even beyond the stories we have read already.
                R: Fantastic! I loved it and couldn’t put it down.
You’re all so good for my ego. But seriously, would you recommend this series to other readers?  

J: Of course I would … I truly enjoyed reading them.                 K: Yes! I have in the past and will continue to do so.                 R: Heck yes I would!

                How would you compare these books to others? Are there other books, or another series that struck you with a similar feel?
A: I don’t really know, I don’t think I could compare this to any other books I’ve read. I don’t think there are any other series that made me feel how I felt with this series. I mean sure I laughed at other books, but each book feels different to me.
K: The only similarity I found was with Lucky Enough and the Stephanie Plum series. The similarities there are minimal, of course, but I feel like Reagan and Stephanie are probably distant cousins. They are both funny, Klutzy and love their comfort food. Reagan’s landlord, Leland, was just as disgusting as Stephanie’s cousin, Vinnie. As far as similarities go, that is it. But this is also why I liked this story so well.                
R: This series actually felt very in sync with the Lucky Harbor series from Jill Shalvis, which I loved so it’s a win-win J
J: Yes, the Toni Blake series… these reminded me a bit of them… just books that you grieve over when you are on the last page!
And if you’re anything like me at all you’re always looking for another great read. So why don’t we just talk about the best books we’ve read thus far in 2013?   
A: I would say the whisper hollow series are the best books I’ve read so far. I haven’t done much independent reading outside of book club lately besides book 3 in the whisper hollow series. But none of the books I’ve read in book club measure up the whisper hollow series.
J: For 2013, I started on Virgin River Series by Robyn Carr.  I have read them all up to: Redwood Bend… I am in the beginnings of this book now… I have 2 more to read after this and will have read all 20 books!  Fabulous stories…
Oh my gosh you ladies are wonderful. I’m honored to have you as readers!  Do any of you have questions of your own that you’d like me to answer? I’d be more than happy to.
J: Where do you get the inspiration for these characters?  Are these people or personalities you have known in your lifetime, or completely fiction?
To be honest Julie, a little of both. I throw some of myself into each and every one of them – unintentionally of course but it happens nonetheless. Some characters end up surprisingly similar to me and others the resemblance is barely miniscule. There’s a little bit of my family in them, and a little bit of my friends, or kids I’d gone to school with but it’s all mostly fleeting.
                There’s a moment in the beginning of Just Her Luck when I’m describing Joe’s kitchen – while he’s standing in it cooking eggs in the buff. Yum I know!  But I mention a tall skinny cupboard that’s supposed to be used for spices but he used as a medicine cabinet, I styled that after my parent’s house – and my aunt thought I was making a reference to her… I just try to write about real people in situations that are at times a little extreme but in some sense entirely possible.
J: Well, you are very detailed and have so much to offer a reader!
Thank you! I have the best readers! I’m so glad you all could stop by and spend some time with me, ladies. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with you and talking shop.

                Everyone else feel free to chime in, in the comments. I love hearing from readers.
                Thanks again!!  

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