Welcome to my RITA® award celebration! Hosted by the Romance Writers of America®, the RITAs celebrate outstanding romance novels and novellas. I’m so thrilled to be a finalist in the Romance Novella category, and I’ve asked my fellow RITA® finalists to come tell you more about themselves and their books. I hope you meet some new favorite authors!
Today we welcome Ruthie Knox!
New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.
Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.
Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.
1. Which of your books has been nominated for a RITA, and in what category?
HOW TO MISBEHAVE in romance novella; also ALONG CAME TROUBLE in contemporary romance
2. How do your hero and heroine meet, and what are their first impressions of each other?
Amber works at the community center in Camelot, Ohio, where an addition is being built on. She has to let the contractor, Tony, into and out of the building every morning and evening, and she develops a crush on him — but probably would never have worked up the nerve to talk to him. One afternoon as she’s waiting to lock up, a tornado siren fortuitously traps them in the community center basement together. When the power goes out, things start getting interesting.
Amber’s impression of Tony is that he’s hot, adult, worldly, and would never be interested in someone like her. Tony’s impression of Amber is that she’s attractive and naive, way too young and too good for him.
3. What are their best and worst characteristics?
Tony is a hard worker, loyal, careful, and kind. He takes responsibility — to a fault — and is harder on himself than he should be. He has trouble letting go of mistakes he thinks he’s made.
Amber is very similar — smart, hard-working, kind, loyal. She’s been careful her whole life, and she’s starting to feel trapped by her choices. With Tony, this makes her reckless. She’s also, more so than Tony, had a sheltered life, and she has a fairly narrow perspective on her own gifts and failings.
4. Where is this book set, and what makes the setting special?
The story is set in Camelot, Ohio, and it is the founding novella for the Camelot Series. Camelot is a small town in central Ohio with a liberal arts college and not much else. The town itself is bucolic and charming, but the stories set in Camelot center on the Clark family, which has no connection to the college. The Clarks own an apartment complex in Camelot. The Clark family matriarch, Janet, was a reluctant transplant to the town, and all three of the Clark siblings — Amber, Caleb, and Katie — have complex and variable feelings about their hometown. The series attempts to complicate the sense of what place and family are all about in small-town romance; it considers how, because we all experience the world differently, even close siblings who grow up in a small town are each raised by different parents in a distinct place.
5. Is this the first time you’ve been a RITA finalist? If not, what books have previously finaled?
No, I was lucky enough to final last year with ABOUT LAST NIGHT (contemporary single-title) and ROOM AT THE INN (novella).
6. Have you read any of the other books that are finalists in your category? If so, which ones?
In contemporary romance, I’ve read Molly O’Keefe’s CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE, which is wonderful. I’d be happy to lose to Molly. In romance novella, I haven’t read any of the other finalists. I’d like to get a few read, at least, before the conference!
7. What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a RITA finalist?
I told my family and some friends. It was a busy day, and I didn’t really find any time or way to celebrate — that’s something that’s always hard for me. But I was honored, and I was pleased later when my five-year-old told me, “Congratulations on your book, Mama.”
8. Do you write in genres other than the one you finaled in? If not, are there any genres you would love to write in?
I only write contemporary so far, long and short. I’ve dabbled a little bit in historical, but doubt it will ever be the genre for me!
9. If you win the RITA, who’s the first person you’ll thank in your speech, and why?
Probably Serena Bell, my friend and writing partner, who told me when I was 8,000 words into this story and frustrated that I needed to throw it away and start over. I’ll thank her first because she was right, and because it takes a good friend to tell the truth in a situation like that.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
If you were stuck on a desert island, what ONE book would you want with you?
Gone with the Wind
If you could bring one of your heroes to life for a day, who would you choose?
Caleb from ALONG CAME TROUBLE
Which of your characters is most similar to you?
May from TRULY
If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream career?
Acquisitions editor-in-chief for a publishing house
What kind of dessert are you hoping they’ll serve at the award ceremony?
What’s the best compliment a reader could give you?
“Your book made a difference in my life/day/morning.”
How would you describe your books?
Humorous but serious
What woman can resist a hot man in a hard hat? New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox kicks off her new Camelot series with this deliciously sexy original novella, in which a good girl learns how to misbehave . . . with all her heart.
As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?
Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?
New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.
An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.
Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?
Along Came Trouble is the second book in the Camelot Series.
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be announced on Monday July 21. Make sure you come back tomorrow for another interview and another chance to win!