10:01 AM


In the Author Spotlight

Meg Benjamin

AL: Hi Meg! Welcome back.

Meg: Hi Ann. It’s so nice to be here!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Meg: I’m still getting used to life on the Front Range of the Rockies in the northern suburbs of Denver. After living for twenty-plus years in South Texas, snow is a big thing for me, and we got eighteen inches of it the week before Halloween! Right now, though, I’m still thinking everything is cool. But ask me again in March.

AL: Would you like to share about your upcoming release, Be My Baby?

Meg: It’s the third book in my Konigsburg, Texas, series, coming after Venus In Blue Jeans and Wedding Bell Blues. There are four Toleffson brothers, all from Iowa and all sized like Paul Bunyan. Be My Baby is Lars Toleffson’s story. People who’ve read Wedding Bell Blues may remember that Lars’s wife, Sherice, caused a major crisis at Docia and Cal’s wedding. Lars and Sherice are now divorced and he’s living in Konigsburg with his daughter, Daisy. Daisy’s babysitter has some serious problems with her former in-laws—they want to kidnap her infant son, in fact. So Lars steps in and saves the day (and falls in love with the babysitter, natch).

AL: What is the most difficult part of being a writer and do you write whenever the mood strikes, or do you have a specific routine?

Meg: The hardest part is actually writing! There are so many distractions, particularly with the Internet. And writing is work! Sometimes those words feel like they’re written in blood. I try to write every afternoon, and I set a minimum number of pages I want to get done. Some days those pages just fly by, but some days it’s like pulling teeth.

AL: How long have you been writing and when did you publish your very first novel?

Meg: It seems like I’ve been writing forever, but I started with mysteries back in the nineties (bad mysteries, I should hasten to add). I realized I was more into romance writing about five years ago and sought out my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Those guys helped me tremendously, both with critiquing and with support. My first novel came out with Samhain last January.

AL: Has an editor ever disagreed with something you’ve written and wanted a total re-write?

Meg: When I first submitted Venus in Blue Jeans, Lindsey Farber turned it down, for good reasons, which she spelled out to me in a very kind e-mail. She didn’t want a total re-write, but she wanted more character development and some clearer plot points. I spent several weeks redoing the book and then resubmitted it. She offered me a contract, bless her heart. I’ve never had an editor ask for changes I didn’t think were justified, thank heavens!

AL: Do you have a top 5 actors list? You know that list of men that make you go yum, yum that would be inevitable, if only....

Meg: I go for the classics: Steve McQueen (Bullitt is one of my all-time favorite movies), Kris Kristofferson (circa 1975—he’s a little old for me now!), Paul Newman. I’m also a big George Clooney fan. And Michael C. Hall on Dexter is oddly sexy, for a serial killer. And then there’s David Boreanaz. That’s six, I know, but hey, who can limit themselves on sexy men!

AL: What’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Meg: Oh my life is just a glamorous whirl, right? The hard part is choosing the most unglamorous. Let’s see. There was the visit to the dentist and the whole teeth-cleaning thing. Probably scrubbing toilets would qualify, although spattering grease on the stovetop while cooking pork chops is also up there. Fortunately for me, the DH does cleanup while I do the cooking.

AL: Do you remember the first guilty pleasure you purchased with your first check?

Meg: The first real money I made for writing something went to buy a DVD player, since my DH was convinced we could get by with the old VHS and wasn’t interested in spending family funds. I knew DVD’s were going to make it big, and I wanted in. We still have the player, but the way, since the DH is now convinced the Blu-Ray is a flash in the pan.

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Meg: Probably either Julia Child or Nora Ephron, preferably both of them, maybe together. I love both of them because they’re both independent, charming, forthright women (so you can figure I loved Julie and Julia, too). With Julia, I’d love to just watch her cook, recreating some of those classic French Chef episodes and offering tastes along the way. With Nora, I’d like to dish, but I’m probably not clever enough to keep up with her.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Meg: “Don’t look back—something might be gaining on you.” That’s usually attributed to Bob Dylan, but Satchel Paige actually said it first.

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Meg.

Meg: Thanks for having me back! I’ve enjoyed it.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Meg please visit:

http://www.MegBenjamin.com/
http://ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com/


FEATURED TITLE: Be My Baby

Blurb:

There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…

Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3

If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.

Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.

Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.

Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.

Warning: Contains Konigsburg craziness, creepy in-laws, a conniving two-year-old, a lovelorn accountant, a sleep-deprived Web developer, and lots of hot holiday sex.

Excerpt:

Jess put Jack into his jumper seat, listening to him crow as he danced back and forth in the doorway to the living room. She slid into the chair at her computer and fired up the Paloma Gaming site. The e-mail from the site owner said that the win-loss ratings kept going flaky. Jess opened her console window and began checking code. The jumper seat usually kept Jack occupied for twenty minutes or so. With any luck she’d find the bug in less time than that.

The encounter with Lars Toleffson still rankled. Obviously, he was looking for June Cleaver. Obviously, as far as he was concerned, she was closer to Britney Spears. Tough. She’d do a good job with his daughter, no matter what he thought of her.

Toleffson wasn’t exactly what she’d expected. Weren’t accountants supposed to be wimpy? He was at least six four or five, given the way he towered over her five-foot-ten. And his shoulders were broad enough to block the light from the office window when he leaned back. He’d worn a predictable gray business suit, but his dark hair had the kind of curls that never stayed put, inching down slightly over his forehead.

The type of guy who probably made female hearts go pitter-pat, if one were susceptible to that kind of thing. Which Jess definitely was not.

She wondered briefly what had happened to Mrs. Toleffson. Probably a divorce, given the lack of sympathy he’d shown when she’d mentioned Barry. Not that she wanted sympathy. But why didn’t people ask single fathers where their significant other had gone the way they asked single mothers?

Jack gave a shriek of delight and Jess turned to look at him. He danced across the doorway on his tiptoes, bouncing up and down enthusiastically.

She remembered when she’d brought him home from the hospital. Small and wrinkled and rosy. Totally vulnerable. Totally dependent. Hers to protect. And love.

She bit her lip. “Oh, lord, Jack, don’t grow up too fast, okay? Let me savor this just a little.”

Jack grinned up at her and did a baby plié. Jess closed her eyes a moment, willing herself not to tear up, then turned back to the monitor. “Okay, time for Mommy to earn us some bread, kiddo. You just keep working on those dance moves so you’ll be ready for your big break when you decide to keep me in style.”

Assuming I can keep you to myself that long. Jess shivered, then concentrated on her screen. Maybe Lydia Moreland had just walked across her grave.

11 comments:

s7anna said...

loved the interview. great excerpt.

happy reading
anna shah hoque
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Roxanne Smolen said...

Great interview! Wow, it's been years since I've seen snow. I don't know if I could cope with eighteen inches.

Andrea said...

Great interview.

I don't see snow much as I live in the south.

Cathy M said...

Venus in Blue Jeans was so good, Meg, I love these boys, and can't wait to read Lar's story.

Linda Henderson said...

I love the sound of your book. I will look forward to reading it.

seriousreader at live dot com

joder said...

Thanks for joining us! Great interview and great excerpt! And I agree with you about Julia Child. I love cooking shows and she was amazing to watch.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Meg Benjamin said...

Thanks everybody! I enjoyed doing the interview.

Tamsyn said...

That was a lovely interview. Congrats Meg on your upcoming release. I love the except and look forward to checking it out.

mamasand2 said...

Great interview, Meg. and I loved the excerpt.

I got and read your Venus in Blue Jeans recently and LOVED it.

Now I have your Wedding Bell Blues and am waiting for reading time. Be My Baby is already on my MUST READ LIST.

Meg, you are already becoming an addiction.

Sandie

Meg Benjamin said...

Oh Sandie, you made my day!

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