Interview with RITA finalist Victoria Dahl – & giveaway!

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 Victoria Dahl!

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the Utah mountains. During the summer, she hikes and drinks margaritas (usually not at the same time.) During the winter she likes to curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and think about all those poor, freezing skiers working so hard out in the snow.

Victoria has published over twenty books and novellas, including three USA Today bestsellers, and several of her books have been nominated for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in the romance genre. Whether she’s working or relaxing, you can find Victoria on Twitter (@VictoriaDahl) being inappropriate twenty-four hours a day.

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1. Which of your books has been nominated for a RITA, and in what category?
“Too Fast to Fall” in the Best Novella category

2. How do your hero and heroine meet, and what are their first impressions of each other?
Nate Hendricks is the deputy who pulls Jenny Stone over for speeding. To be specific, at the opening of “Too Fast to Fall,” he’s pulling her over for the sixth time. Needless to say, after two warnings and three tickets, Nate thinks she’s reckless and infuriating, and Jenny thinks he’s a humorless cop who’s out to get her.

3. What are their best and worst characteristics?
Jenny might be a little reckless, but she’s always cheerful. Her worst characteristic is a tendency to run at the first sign of trouble in her life, but she’s also fun and kind.
Nate’s really cares about other people, but he can sometimes be a little harsh. Only for their own good, of course. 😉

4. Where is this book set, and what makes the setting special?
This story is set in Jackson, Wyoming, one of my favorite places in the world! It’s special to me because it’s a lot like my own town in Utah. Places like this are a fascinating combination of people who otherwise might never come into contact: ranchers and farmers and rich ski bums and chefs and extreme sports enthusiasts and environmental activists and cowhands, and we’re all in one small town.
So far, there are three full novels and three novellas in this Jackson series, with another three books scheduled to come out, and there is never a shortage of characters for me to draw from.

5. Is this the first time you’ve been a RITA finalist? If not, what books have previously finaled?
This my fourth Rita nomination, I’m amazed to say! I was previously nominated in the Historical category for A LITTLE BIT WILD, and in the Contemporary category in 2010 for both TALK ME DOWN and LEAD ME ON. I’ve never won a Rita though, so I’m really hoping I can destroy all of my fellow nominees this time around.

6. Have you read any of the other books that are finalists in your category? If so, which ones?
Now I feel terribly guilty. Can we stop this emotional roller coaster??? Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to read any of the other finalists, because I’ve been on deadline since the announcement and I will be for a few more weeks. I hate that, because novellas are my favorite, but I really try to avoid reading romance when I’m on deadline. And there’d be too much second guessing when reading the best of the best!

7. What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a RITA finalist?
I got on Twitter. But that’s actually the first thing I do when I find out anything.

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?
Yes, I do! I started out writing historical and paranormal and then slowly migrated to contemporary. I’ve got an erotic historical novella in the works right now, but I’ve been saying that for two years, so don’t believe me.

9. If you win the RITA, who’s the first person you’ll thank in your speech, and why?
Oh, my gosh, this is a tough one, but I guess I should be thinking about it. I’ll probably thank my critique partner, Jennifer Echols, first. She loves my novellas so much, and I love her.

Speed-dating round

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
Jackson, Wyoming!

If you could bring one of your heroes to life for a day, who would you choose?
Jamie Donovan from Bad Boys Do.

Which of your characters is most similar to you?
Molly Jennings from Talk Me Down.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream career?
Professional jigsaw puzzler.

What kind of dessert are you hoping they’ll serve at the award ceremony?
I can’t be there, but I suppose I hope you guys get something good. 🙁

What’s the best compliment a reader could give you?
That my story helped her work through something in her own life.

How would you describe your books?
I’m a bit of a mix. Sometimes angsty and sometimes ridiculous. But always hot.

For Jenny Stone, driving is her escape – from her past, her problems, her quiet life in Jackson Hole. But after Deputy Nate Hendricks stops her -again- for speeding, she could lose more than just her license. She could lose her heart.

Nate seems to think that Jenny should replace her love for fast driving with something even more…heart pumping. And despite her need for speed, Jenny’s never been one for defying the law.

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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!

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Win RITA® Award-nominated romance novellas!

Hey, friends! I hope those of you in the U.S. had a lovely Fourth of July weekend. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Since my husband’s British, it’s the one day of the year I can brag about beating him at something. 😉

This is a HUGELY exciting month for me – and I hope for you, too! On July 21 I’m revealing the cover of Tempting the Player, then later this month I’m going to the Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio, where I’ll be taking part in my first book signing event. I hope I meet lots of you there!

But before all that happens, I’m featuring some of my favorite authors on this site – and they’re giving you a chance to win their RITA-nominated novellas. Whoop whoop!

RITA romance novella giveaway

If you visited my blog in March, you might remember me screaming for joy when I found out I’m a finalist for a Romance Writers of America® RITA® Award. My Christmas novella, Mine Under the Mistletoe, is a finalist in the Romance Novella category. For the next two weeks, my fellow finalists will be stopping by to answer my nosy questions and giving you a chance to win their novellas.

The giveaway starts today. You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below. But first, a quick intro to the novellas you could win!

The Bridesmaid by Julia London
Defending Truth by Shannon McNear (win the anthology A Pioneer Christmas)
How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe
How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
Imagine Me and You by Maisey Yates
Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat Latham (win the anthology All I’m Asking For)
Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter
Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey
Too Fast to Fall by Victoria Dahl in Be Mine

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Contemporaries to covet in March – & giveaway!


How can it already be March? On Saturday, the sky over the Netherlands was covered by one thick gray cloud and it was just above freezing. Here’s a picture to prove it. Smarty Pants and I were in Delft this weekend, home of the painter Vermeer (The Girl With The Pearl Earring) and of the church where Dutch royals are buried. Here’s the tomb of William of Orange, who was assassinated in Delft in 1584 and was the founder of the current line of Dutch monarchs.

William of Orange's tomb
William of Orange’s tomb

Yesterday, there were a few patchy rain clouds but the temperature had risen a few degrees. I haven’t been outside yet today, but the sun is shining so hard it hurts my eyes – not that I’m complaining! Roll on, Spring!

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about history or the weather. Just like the first Monday of every month, I’m here to celebrate new contemporary romance releases. I’ll tell you below which March contemporary romances I’m most looking forward to. If you leave a comment and tell us which March contemporaries you’re coveting, you could win a $10 gift certificate for yourself AND the author you mention.

Giveaway details are below, but here are the books I’m looking forward to this month.

Thrown by a Curve by Jaci Burton
She thinks she knows this player—but he has a few surprise moves.

Thrown by a CurveFor Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run—until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher, Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch, a man.

Right now, the only demand he’s making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia’s tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But both their careers are at stake—one bad move and it’s game over for both of them.

Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

My two cents
I’ve only read one Jaci Burton story – her novella The Best Thing in Carina Press’s 2012 Christmas anthology – but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, as you know I’m a huge fan of sports romances, so this book is at the top of my I-Want list.

Release date: March 5, 2013
Read an excerpt

Buy it in print at: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Buy a digital copy at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo Books | iBookstore

Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun

From a “fresh and imaginative” (The Romance Studio) voice in erotic romance come the tales of two women, each daring to challenge the toughest of men…but in these edgy, heated encounters, the greatest thing she’ll risk is her heart.

Uncommon PleasureIn Over the Edge, after a tragic incident during Ty Hendricks’ last tour of duty he cut off all connection with anyone he cares about—until a night with Lauren Kincaid draws him reluctantly back into the world. Lauren sees a wounded man in danger of losing everything to his inner demons, but the sensual, no-holds-barred fight for Ty’s soul could cost Lauren her heart.

In All on the Line, Abby Simmons fell hard for Lieutenant Sean Winthrop, but he sacrificed their relationship when he deployed to Afghanistan. Now he’s home, full of regrets and intent on winning back the woman he never forgot. Abby gives Sean her body but holds her heart aloof, until one night of pleasure forces her to choose her U.S. Marine…or life without him, forever.

My two cents
Again, I’ve only read one Anne Calhoun story – and again it was a Christmas novella (Breath on Embers) from Carina Press. It made me cry, even though I’d been warned that it would and so I’d steeled myself against it. Anne Calhoun’s characters snuck past my defenses. I’m looking forward to that happening again.

I also look forward to having Anne as a guest on this blog. She’ll be doing an interview and giving away a copy of Uncommon Pleasure on March 25th.

Release date: March 5, 2013
Read an excerpt

Buy it at: Amazon | B&N

Continue reading “Contemporaries to covet in March – & giveaway!”

Winners of my Contemporaries to Covet giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment about contemporary romance novels to read in August.

The winner of a $10 gift certificate to an online bookseller is…Pat L! Congratulations, Pat! Email me at romancingkatrina[at]gmail[dot]com and tell me which website you’d like me to buy your gift certificate from.

Because Pat said she’s looking forward to reading Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl, she also won a $10 gift certificate for Victoria!

Everyone, this week I announced my Bookstravaganza! giveaway. Subscribing to my blog and commenting on any post before August 31st will enter you to win three great books! Read more about the giveaway here.

Have a great day, everyone!

Contemporaries to covet in August – & giveaway!

Those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while know that every month I tell you which contemporary romance novels I’m looking forward to, and I ask which new releases you can’t wait to read.

I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a $10 gift certificate for herself AND for the contemporary romance author she recommends. More details on that below.

Ready, Freddy? Here are the August contemporary releases I can’t wait to read!

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West?

Close Enough to TouchFor makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood isn’t the land of golden opportunity. It’s the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting….

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay-and those fires from long ago may burn them both.

They’ll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

My two cents

Victoria Dahl’s got a new series out! Victoria Dahl’s got a new series out! AAAAHHH!!!

In case it’s not clear, I LOVE Victoria Dahl. Her contemporary romance is just the right mix of funny and hot. Close Enough to Touch is the start of a new contemporary series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I can’t wait to read it.

Release date: August 28, 2012

Read an excerpt of Close Enough to Touch
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Continue reading “Contemporaries to covet in August – & giveaway!”