This summer I got the chance to read and review a contemporary romance novel called Yours to Keep by a new-to-me author, Shannon Stacey. I couldn’t put the book down. It had everything I love in contemporary romance: characters I can relate to and a perfect mix of hot passion with tender emotion. And it’s funny as hell.
Shannon Stacey is now one of my auto-buy authors. I love her series featuring the quirky Kowalski family and their adventures of DOOM. And I’m so glad to have Shannon here today giving away a print copy of the book that got the Kowalskis started, Exclusively Yours.
Thank you so much for inviting me! And for not only falling in love with the Kowalskis, but sharing the love with your readers!
1. My pleasure! What made you decide to start writing romance, and what were you doing before? How long were you writing before you got published?
I knew from childhood I wanted to write books when I grew up and, once I discovered romances (in my early teens), I knew I wanted to be a romance author.
It’s harder to say how long I was writing before I got published because different phases of my life pushed writing into the background at times. I had a few stories rejected as a teen. A few rejections here and there. But it was in early 2002 that life had settled enough for me to really pursue publication and I was offered my first contract in January of 2005.
2. Your backlist is really eclectic. You’ve got an action/adventure romance series, some western historicals, erotic romances, light paranormal and a futuristic romance. Do you plan to mostly stick with contemporary romance from now on, or would you like to keep exploring different kinds of romance?
One of the great things about digital publishing (I thought) was the freedom to write pretty much whatever I wanted. The downside of that, which a great many authors (myself included) don’t factor in, is that my readers never knew what to expect from me.
Writing the Kowalski series has shown me I really love writing contemporary romance and I’ll be focusing primarily on that going forward, though I do have one more western romance I want to write.
And I’ll be continuing the Devlin Group books (action/adventure romance), as well. I love that series and, while the Kowalskis have been keeping me pretty busy, I have at least two more DG books in the works.
3. Your Kowalski family novels were first released digitally by Carina Press and are now coming out in print through HQN. How did that come about? Are these your first print books?
I’m not sure how Harlequin came to the decision to release the Kowalski books in print through the HQN imprint, but I’m very glad they did! Angela called me to tell me the news and, after the call, I did a happy dance around my house. Most of my Samhain Publishing books are available in trade paperback, but these will be my first widely-available mass market paperbacks and I’m super excited about them!
4. In an interview you conducted with Carina Press’s Executive Editor Angela James, you say that if you could rewrite one of the classics you’d give Gone With the Wind a happy ending. I’m totally with you on that. But what about favorite books? Is there a book you’re really jealous that you didn’t write?
I have so many favorite books! Stephen King’s Needful Things. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The Little House on the Prairie series.
One thing I wish I could write, but can’t, is steampunk romance. I’m fairly new to steampunk as a reader, but I envy the rich, innovative worlds steampunk authors create. If there’s one book I desperately wish I could have written, it would be The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I not only thoroughly enjoyed that book as a reader, but I was in awe of it as an author. It’s a brilliant, original, masterful work.
5. Please tell us there will be more Kowalski novels after Yours to Keep. I’m totally in love with this family. What can readers look forward to from you in 2012?
There are more Kowalskis coming in 2012! In Yours to Keep, readers met Sean, the first of the Kowalski cousins, and learn he was born and raised at the Northern Star Lodge in Maine. The series is moving there so we can meet his brothers—Mitch, Ryan and Josh—and the women with whom they find their happily ever afters of DOOM! We also get to know a little more about their only sister, Liz.
Tell us about Exclusively Yours.
Exclusively Yours is a contemporary romance I originally started writing just for fun. It has camping, four-wheelers, mud, bug spray and s’mores, which are a few of the things I enjoy in my life. (Not so much the bug spray, but it’s a necessary evil.)
Joe Kowalski’s a bestselling horror author who likes his privacy and Keri Daniels, who was his high school sweetheart, needs an interview with him to save her job. He comes up with a crazy plan for her to accompany his entire family on their annual camping trip, expecting her to refuse, but she’s determined to get answers to her questions.
In the middle of all the family drama and chaos, Joe and Keri are surprised to find the old spark might not have cooled as much as they’d thought. And did I mention the s’mores? Romance, a little sex, and some melty marshmallow goodness!
Thank you so much, Kat, for inviting me to visit today!
Thanks for taking the time to be here, Shannon! I really appreciate it. 🙂
Shannon is giving away a copy of Exclusively Yours to one person who leaves a comment. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Tuesday December 20. Good luck!
Congratulations to Shannon on her success. The Kowalski family sounds like an interesting group.
Since Exclusively Yours is my all-time favorite contemporary romance, it would be a real joy to have a hard copy of it autographed by the author. Shannon speaks my language and the redemption in EY makes me happy every time I read it.
More DG AND More Kowalski’s????????? Whoo hoo! I already own EY, so you can exclude me from the drawing, but I’m thrilled to hear the good news about Shannon’s future work!
Just read Mistletoe and Margarita’s, loved it. Will be reading many more of your books.
Terrific interview. Totally agree with giving GWTW a happily ever after. 🙂
I would love to win a copy of Exclusively Yours
I enjoy books with the past flames reunited theme.
I love all of the books but Exclusively Yours is definitely a favorite. Good job and keep up the good work.
I’d love to win. Thanks for hosting 🙂
Gone with the Wind–yes! Why do we always hear these not so happy (when not downright depressing) endings praised as the best thing ever? Let’s hear more about the happy endings, please!
And I’m so with you on The Iron Duke, it’s amazing world building, and the characters are also amazingly well done, IMO.
Congrats on the print releases of the Kowalskis!
Congrats on your many writing sucesses. The book sounds like a great read.
Hi Shannon! The Kowalski’s sound like a fun family and Yours Exclusively sounds like a must read.
Love, love, love the Kowalskis and the Devlin Group.
Exclusively Yours also features my two favorite secondary couples: Terry & Evan and Mike & Lisa.
I’m looking forward to owning these books in print.
Well it looks like I have found another contemporary romance author whose books I really want to read. Joe and Keri’s story sounds like a sweet and fun one. I think they deserve a second chance 🙂
Hi Shannon. Congrats on your upcoming HQN release. That’s so exciting. LOL about how the first book came into existence. I’ll think of it every time I reach for the bug spray.
Shannon, congrats on your upcoming HQN release! I love reading contemporary romance, so am happy that I stumble across this post and discover you! Best wish your writing 🙂
I love the Kowalskis! I can’t wait for the new books to come out. Keep up the great work Shannon.
happy holidays all.
great interviews thanks for sharing. looks like a really good book, just starting now to read mistletoe and i allready know it’s gonna be a keeper.
Congratulations on all of your success, Shannon! I loved Yours to Keep. I need to go back and read the other Kowalski brothers’ stories.
I didn’t know Shannon also wrote other books besides the Kowalskis. Have to look them up! Thank you for the interview and giveaway!
Thank you for the interview! Wanted to add I love, Justin and Claire, Sean and Emma and Scott and Chloe and can’t wait to read more! Look forward to all the new stores in 2012 for the rest of the Kowalski.