Today, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Casey Dawes, author of 'California Homecoming.' She talks a bit about her latest book, plus writing in general. Please feel free to leave her a comment or a question below!
My new contemporary romance, California Homecoming (Crimson Romance) is the third in the series, California Romance. Sarah, the heroine of California Homecoming, has appeared in the first two books, but the new book can be read as a stand-alone. Sarah is a likeable sprite, but there was something about her boyfriend, Rick, that I just didn’t like. When I started thinking about this book, I knew he needed to create trouble for her!Which character spoke to you the most during the writing process?
For my hero, I needed someone who was opposite of Rick. I drew my inspiration from the men and women who are returning home from our long wars. Time Magazine’s cover story from August 2011 on the “new greatest generation” has stuck in my mind. Hunter evolved from the brave men and women who are coming home and building success in their lives, even if it’s a struggle to do so.
Hunter spoke the most to me. I could feel his depression and pain, as well as his frustration at being a skilled laborer unable to find a job. I’ve been in that position, even though I retain all my limbs. Once I lost my technical job, I discovered ageism is alive and well in this country. It’s discouraging to know you can do a job, but be turned down because your hair is gray….or you’re missing a limb.How much do you and Sarah, the main character, have in common?
On the surface, very little. I drew from many of my experiences and the questions I have about the best way to do things to create her character. I’ve been a single mother and since I was the one who initiated the divorce, I questioned many times if I’d done the right thing. (I still believe I did.) I’ve owned my own business for over a decade, so I can relate to the up and down roller coaster of enthusiasm and doubt.Which scene is your favorite?
Oh, gosh, there are many -- and they all contain spoilers! I like climactic scenes, where the action is turned in a different direction that wasn’t anticipated. I like endings where everything is wrapped up and people are happy. In this book I also like the “meet cute,” when Hunter and Sarah meet. Hopefully, you can tell there’s an attraction right away!Tell us about some of your other works.
The first two books of this contemporary romance series are already published by Crimson Romance, but as I said earlier, you can read California Homecoming as a stand-alone book. California Sunset is Annie’s story. Annie is laid off from her tech job (sound familiar?) and either has to find something else or move with her teenage son across the country. Reviewers have called this book “more than a romance,” which I think is a compliment.On what other projects are you currently working?
California Wine is Elizabeth’s story. (Elizabeth is Sarah’s mom.) She meets a dashing Italian winemaker, but is afraid to take a chance on love. In this book, I used a lot of the research I’d developed when I wrote a few non-fiction books about the Santa Cruz Mountains (CA) winegrowing region.
Chasing the Tumbleweed, a short romantic suspense, was released by Books To Go Now in March 2013. It grew out of a travel experience. When stopping at a rest stop in the middle of Nevada, we discovered a red ice chest filled with Louis L’Amour books. Thinking what else could have been in there kept us entertained for miles!
I just finished the first draft of a short romantic Christmas story. It’s sitting in cold storage for a few weeks before I start at it with the editing fillet knife. I also have a synopsis for the next book in the California Romance series--Mandy’s story. I’m also working on a synopsis for a start of a brand new series set in my home state of Montana.Sometimes it is difficult for writers to dive in and get started, due to a variety of reasons. What were some of your struggles with getting started and how did you overcome them?
I go through phases I call ABW--anything but writing. The house gets a cleaning, quilts get finished, I even do filing! (Too bad you can’t sharpen pencils anymore.) The cats, Mongo and Bonnie, are suddenly very entertaining. I find if I do some kind of outline first, it helps, but even then a blank page can be daunting. Fortunately, I have good sense of self-discipline and I set a word count to meet that day. It may be lots of really bad words, but they give me something to edit.What is it about writing romance that is so fulfilling to you?
I’m a sucker for happy endings. The fact that I get to create them for my characters is very fulfilling.How do you make yourself stand out in this competitive genre?
That is a great question. If you find out the answer, can you let me know? LOL!What are some of your recommended romantic destinations?
Seriously, I know I have to work on my craft continually. There are many books of varying quality out there. Readers should be respected and that means giving them the very best I can do for entertainment, as well as something to think about. Second, I need to get my books in front of people so they can discover them. Marketing, including blog tours like this one, is a very important part of that.
Paris. Always Paris. Beyond that? Anywhere you are with your beloved can be romantic. A romantic destination is an attitude, not a place.What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I very briefly worked in an Actor’s Equity Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, the North Shore Music Theater. I met a lot of stars--John Raitt (Bonnie’s dad), Pearl Bailey, Theodore Bikel, and my second husband.Is there anything else you would like to add?
I love hearing from my readers! Have I inspired you? Disappointed you? Is there a character you’d love to have his/her own book? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@CaseyDawesAutho) or Pinterest.Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for having me!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author Casey Dawes lives and writes on the bank of the Clark Fork River in Montana with the love of her life and two cats who think they own the joint. To learn more about Casey, visit her website: www.stories-about-love.com.
by Casey Dawes
When Sarah Ladina purchased an old Victorian in Costanoa with plans to turn it into a high-end destination inn, she had no idea life could get so complicated. Well, maybe she did. As an unwed pregnant woman who couldn’t cook, she had her work cut out for her. A good-looking disabled veteran, a doctor who orders modified bed rest, and an ex who’s trying to get back into her life make her wonder if she’ll ever be able to stand on her own and open the inn in time for her mother’s best friend’s wedding.
After returning from duty in the Middle East wounded in both body and spirit, Hunter Evans is in search of employment and a home, but finding a job has been tough and housing doesn’t come cheap in Costanoa, the town that he loves the most on the California Coast. Can he strike a deal with the pretty innkeeper to trade a room for handy work?
Read an excerpt:
Sunday morning Hunter pressed a shirt and put it on, along with his best khakis. He thought about picking up a bunch of flowers on the way, but laughed at himself. He was trying to find a room, not a relationship.
“Oh, it’s you again,” Sarah said when she opened the door, the dog standing next to her. She was frowning.
Against all reason, something about her made him want to scoop her up in his arms and hug her. Because her t-shirt and jeans were dripping with dust, cobwebs, and streaks of soap, it was probably a bad idea, but her short height and big brown eyes gave her an appealing elfin look. He’d always been a sucker for Eowyn in Lord of the Rings.
“I still don’t have any rooms,” Sarah continued and began to shut the door.
“Wait,” he said.
She stopped. “Why should I?”
He smiled. Considering their size difference, she really had no choice. But he bet she’d fight him with every ounce of her strength.
She’d probably fight like a girl -- nasty.
“This is an inn, isn’t it?” he asked.
She smirked at him. “It’s an unopened inn. No room. Get the picture?” She started to inch the door closed.
This time he shoved his foot in the gap. The swinging door clanked on his prosthetic.
Sarah gasped. “I’m so sorry!”
He grinned. “I’m not. It would have hurt a lot more on the other leg.”
Buy it on Amazon
Casey will be awarding a bottle of Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir (a wine served in California Homecoming)(US ONLY) OR a $25 Amazon gift certificate (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Virtual Reviews Tour, as well as donating $20.00 to Fisher House (http://www.fisherhouse.org/
donate/) in honor or memory of a serviceperson of
the winner's choice. For
each tour stop $5 will be donated to Fisher House (http://www.fisherhouse.org/ donate/)
in honor or memory of a serviceperson of the host’s choice. Follow the tour for more chances to win!