Thursday, January 31, 2013

ROUGH HARBOR

Today we set sail with Rough Harbor
author Andrea Stein
 
 
 

Prize Giveaway

Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn host. Be sure to leave a comment and your email for prize notification.


In Her Own Words



Hi, I’m Andrea Stein an author, mother, wife and blogger and a certified mom-chauffeur. I have been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, including my first adventure story, inspired by an obsession with Out of Africa (book, movie and biography) about a young girl stranded in Kenya. It was serial fiction handwritten, given to my sister, who couldn’t read my handwriting. That story dies after one installment, but the next year I got a word processor (not a computer, but an ACTUAL WORD PROCESSOR) that showed about twenty lines of text at a time. This was before laptops were widely available and this allowed me to be able to type to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own room. Which I did. I think I spent the time writing stories about my “frenemies” to amuse myself. I also listened to a lot of the Cure and New Wave music. I have since moved on to a happier place.
 
Even though I read lots of different types of books, I write romance novels with a twist. More like contemporary romance than romantic suspense (I don’t write about serial killers or FBI agents) but I usually like to include a puzzle or mystery for my hero and heroine to solve.
 
Rough Harbor is my second novel, set in a small New England town. Coming soon is Ivy Cottage, also set in a small New England town on a river.

Other than writing I spend most of my time reading, watching TV, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, trying to keep the house clean and folding laundry. I love Twizzlers, chocolate and shows on the WB. For me, reading has always been an escape, a way to escape the ordinary and dive into a world that feels real – but with all of the ‘boring’ parts edited out.

As for the rest of my life, I grew up on Long Island, spent a lot of vacations in small New England towns, went to college in New York City, married by high school sweetheart, worked, had kids, stopped working, and kept on writing. Now I live in rural New Jersey (yes, there is such a thing), and though I don’t own any horses, I do have a barn, which I share with squirrels.

There’s something successful writers always tell new writers about their secret to success. Just do it…Bum Glue…write 1ooo words a day…write for two hours a day….Keep writing. And they’re right. I got more successful with my writing when I started to do it consistently. I don’t write every day, but I shoot for five days a week. This means that the words and pages pile up — and I have stories to shape, make and mold…and share.

 

Now I Get to Ask the Questions          

 
Author name or pen name. If writing under a pen name, why did you choose this particular name? 

Andrea Stein – no pen name…though I when I am working on a racy scene and I think my  mother might read it, I wish I had taken a pen name.
  
When did you tell your family and friends that you were a writer? How did telling  them make you feel? 
       
Well since I’ve always wanted to be a writer, a lot of them know already.  But it still feels great to tell them that I’m an author. 
 
What would your grandmother think if she met the hero in your book? 
 
Hubba-hubba, I hope. My grandmother was a practical woman, so I think she would like the fact that my heroes are handsome and successful – and of course wonderfully romantic.
 
What is the most romantic thing a man/partner has ever done for you? 
 
Before kids or after kids? Before kids any of the usual – flowers, presents, and being proposed too.  But after kids, you romance is different – anytime my husband allows me some “me” time.
 
If you were planning a seductive dinner in front of a crackling fire, what would you serve?  How would you serve it? What would you wear?    
 
Hmm, well I might be tempted to order in, in order to make things turn out right, but a really great steak, with the sides – probably crispy potatoes and creamed spinach.  I’d serve a great bottle of red wine and finish with something chocolately for dessert – and that would definitely be something I outsource.    As for attire – I am definitely a creature of comfort so I probably wouldn’t wear a dress – more like a low cut top and comfortable jeans –or nice drawstring pants.
 
Clothing is an important part of each scene. A low cut tank top sparks more male appreciation than a conservative button down, rolled up sleeve shirt. From a male perspective, compare the two opposites I mentioned above or choose your own for comparison. 
 
Well both styles can be appreciated – I think it depends in how you write it.  The tank top is obvious since a hero can see and appreciate the heroine’s attributes – like strong shoulders, the low cut scoop in the front that dips invitingly over perky breasts.  But then there’s the less is more approach – or how the open buttons allow a peak at the soft skin at the heroine’s neck, inviting fantasies of what the rest of her looks like under her ‘conservative’ clothes.
 
Besides being unfaithful, what quality in a manno criminal actswould be a deal breaker? Why?
 
Probably being foolish with money…or not liking children.
 
Do either your heroine or hero have a vice  (drugs, chocolate, expensive jewelry, cigarettes, etc.)?  How important is it to the story?  
 
Hmm, my heroine, Caitlyn likes chocolate and expensive clothes, so Noah, the hero, makes sure there is chocolate cake for dessert.  As for the nice clothes – that’s part of who Caitlyn is – a classy, sophisticated woman.
 
You’ve been dating Mr. Practically Alright for a month. He’s been to your house several times. Finally, he asks you over to his place to meet someone who is important to him. You are thinking it’s a child or perhaps his visiting mother. Wrong. It’s a big Labrador retriever who puts his paws on your shoulders and washes your carefully air brushed face from ear to ear. The biggest dog you’ve ever been around was the size of a meatloaf. What are the first words out of your mouth? If your date doesn’t offer antibacterial face wipes and saysby the way—Fido sleeps with him every night,  what’s your next move?
 
Hmm – I like dogs so I guess I wouldn’t be too put off by the dog licks – I wouldn’t make a big deal of it and quietly go wipe myself off.  As for the sleeping thing,
  
In your work, regardless of genre, do you consider the environment and do you exhibit an awareness of practices that can make a difference?  It could be something as simple as motion activated lights or lights on timers. 
 
Rough Harbor is set in Queensbay which is set on a fictional harbor in the Northeast, but modeled closely on the town and harbor I grew up. I loved living along the water, so I decided to use my memories of growing up and around the water and infuse it that into the story. 
 
Do you think readers would embrace a heronot a struggling artist, sculptor or writerwho earns only a fraction of what the heroine earns?  Please explain.
 
Hmm. One could always try – but heroes like that always seem to have some sort of other income in place.  While the billionaire sweeping you off your feet is nice, it’s also nice to see a couple on more equal financial terms who are interested in their careers/professions for its own sake…and always seem to have made smart financial choices along the way – like the cop who bought a whole building in an up and coming part of town and is always a landlord.  Or the bartender who actually owns the bar.
 
Congratulations, your book has just been optioned by movie producer. Of course you’ll be a consultant to the casting director. Who would you chose to play your heroine?  Hero? What song would you pick for your soundtrack? And since you’ve convinced the powers to be that you must write the screenplay, what will you be wearing to the Academy Awards to accept your Oscar for best screenplay? Include jewelry!
 
The hero…Gerard Butler, the heroine – Keira Knightly.  As for music – that’s tough since I’m tone deaf –but I love Foster the People and Colbie   Calliat so I’m sure someone could come up with some music along those lines… As for the Oscars – a great dress that shimmers, and I’d drip with diamonds and sapphires.
 
 



The Blurb

After a bitter break up and professional set back in London, twenty seven year old Caitlyn has returned to Queensbay to work for Maxwell Randall, an old family friend, at his financial management firm.  So far, bit by bit, Caitlyn’s been rebuilding all she lost after Michael St. John broke her heart …and tried to ruin her professional reputation.

But her past comes back to haunt her when Maxwell unexpectedly turns up dead.  Not only does Caitlyn find her career in jeopardy but her heart is too, when Noah Randall, Maxwell’s son, and her first love, returns to Queensbay.  Once, ten years ago, Caitlyn was sure Noah was the one for her…but the tragedy of her grandfather’s suicide and Noah’s decision to leave town left her bereft…and determined never to trust him again. 

Over the past decade, she’s managed to do her best to forget about Noah Randall and the lingering questions surrounding her grandfather’s suicide.  But now that’s he back in town – rich and more handsome than ever, and she can’t help wondering what if? What if Noah really was the one? 

Noah Randall left home ten years ago to seek his fortune – vowing never to return until he’d made a success of himself – and show Caitlyn Montgomery just what she’d given up.  He returns to find that Caitlyn Montgomery has only grown more alluring with time. Noah’s always wanted he couldn’t have…and now he wants Caitlyn again.  But she’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.

While Noah and Caitlyn are revisiting old ground – and forging a new relationship, there’s trouble brewing in Queensbay.  Old secrets and new lead Caitlyn to believe that perhaps her grandfather didn’t kill himself – and that Maxwell’s death was no accident.  But just how far will someone go to keep her – and Noah – from finding out the truth…and will Queesbay prove to have troubled waters after all?



Now for a taste...

Caitlyn Montgomery carefully let herself in the side door with the key hidden under the flowerpot. Police tape fluttered along the back of the house, the side that faced the water, but here, under the small overhang, there was nothing, only a chilly October breeze and the more distant sound of the water lapping at the rocky shore.



The house was quiet, the silence of sadness. Her footsteps echoed across the polished wood flooring of the hallway as she crossed onto the marble tiles of the foyer. She knew it well, had almost grown up here, and had spent many nights here in the recent months, playing chess and sipping whisky with an old man.

The door to Maxwell Randall’s study swung silently open. Caitlyn crossed the floor quickly, her sneakered feet sinking into the plush carpet. She came around to Maxwell’s desk, an ornate, obnoxious thing meant to look like something a Gilded Age Robber Baron would have owned.

It was just as he’d left it. Empty. Maxwell hadn’t been one for bringing work home, she discovered. His desk was clear, a simple blotter aligned in the middle. A phone off to the right, a brass lamp off to the left. A pad of paper and a can of pens and pencils sat within reach. There was no computer, no planner or desk diary. She supposed if there had been one, the police would have taken it.

Slowly, methodically, she leaned over and began to open the desk drawers. Nothing in the two large ones flanking the right, nor the left. She turned her attention to the middle drawer, the thin one. It stuck a bit, and she felt her heart flutter in anticipation. She knelt down, to get a better view. Caitlyn pushed a strand of her brown-black hair behind her ear and squinted in concentration as she carefully slid her hands toward the back of the narrow drawer.

“What are you doing?”

Her head jerked up, hitting the side of the drawer as she rose to her feet.

“You?” Caitlyn said, surprise radiating through her.

There was a pause. Caitlyn drew herself up to her full height and looked at Noah Randall, all six-feet-one of him, standing in the doorway.

 
 
Be sure to leave a comment. Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn host.
 
 
Where in the world can you find Andrea?
 
 


http://www.facebook.com/AndreaSteinBooks


 
 
 
 

15 comments:

Christy McKee said...

Welcome Andrea. So glad to have you on the blog today.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Ami said...

I love a good love story :)

shadowrunner1987 AT gmail DOT com

Leah said...

Great excerpt! Romance, mystery and thriller.

MomJane said...

Sounds really exciting. Loved the blurb.

Lyra L7 said...

Do you get your "me time" often?

lyra.lucky7(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Andrea Stein said...

Hi Christy - thanks for having me stop by today - it's one of those crazy days - because of a high windstorm the power is out at school - so I have three kids sitting around in their pajamas waiting for me to figure out how to entertain them :)
Andrea

Lena said...

Hi, how do you go about creating new characters for a story?

lennascloud[at]gmail[dot]com

Emiliana25 said...

I'm looking forward to your next project!

emiliana25 at web dot de

Christy McKee said...

Andrea,

Sounds like you won't be able to get much work done today. We have power in Ohio but the temps went from 59 to 24 last night and it is windy and cold!

My only distraction is getting lunch for my office assistants--two 70 pound Labs, Lambeau and Gracie.

Gala said...

Wonderful excerpt, how do you come up with new ideas for a story?

galaschick78 At gmail Dot com

Ingeborg said...

I love novels set in small towns. I can't wait to read Rough Harbor.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Fun interview--love the Oscar question!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

bn100 said...

Very nice post.

bn100candg(at)Hotmail(Dot)Com

Mary Preston said...

I think it's the twist that keeps me coming back for more.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com