Dabney Interviews Jennifer Lohmann

lohmann Not quite two years ago, I emailed Jennifer Lohmann (we share a mutual friend and live in the same area), introduced myself, and asked if I could interview her about being chosen as the 2010 RWA Librarian of the Year.

It’s clear Jennifer’s not one to rest on her laurels. In 2011, Jennifer entered a manuscript in Harlequin’s “So You Think You Can Write” contest and was offered a contract for her first book, Reservations for Two. The book came out yesterday.

I asked Jennifer if I could interview her again and she, graciously, said yes.

Jennifer, I understand you were “discovered” by Harlequin after you entered their 2011 “So You Think You Can Write” contest.

I don’t remember where I saw Harlequin’s “So You Think You Can Write” contest posted—Twitter probably—but I remember reading about it and thinking, “I don’t have to win, to win.” Author Kat Cantrell won my year, but I got offered a contract. Continue reading

Books With Buzz: Sarah Mayberry Interview and Giveaway

When readers list their favorite writers of category romance, Sarah Mayberry consistently makes the lists. Her characters feel very real, and her ear for dialogue makes their stories a delight to read. In addition, she tends to be a versatile author, writing stories with heat that fits in well with the Blaze line while also exploring family situations and deep emotion within the Superromance line.

In her latest release, The Other Side of Us(due out this Wednesday!), Mayberry takes readers to a beach community in Australia where the hero and heroine have retreated from their usual lives. For one, the discovery of an affair has led to the end of a marriage, while the other is still on the long road to recovery following a devastating car accident. The new neighbors are prickly with each other at first and there’s certainly a lot of believable baggage between them, but watching them create a relationship is a delight. Mackenzie and Oliver are both mature, intelligent characters and both the emotion and heat in this book made it good reading.

And we have three(3) copies to give away! If you’d like to win a copy of The Other Side of Us, just comment below by 11:59 p.m. on January 3, 2012. This contest is open to both US and international readers. Continue reading

Author Interviews: Who’d You Like to Hear From?

I’m busy planning ahead in this month of January.  (Yes, actually planning.  Not flying by the seat of my pants or anything.)  I’d like to deliver some of the interviews you’re looking for this year.

In the past, we’ve focused on established authors and would like to stay primarily in that vein.  Newbies or debut author interviews are extremely rare.  I’ve been rebuffed only once in all the years I’ve been doing interviews for AAR – Kresley Cole had her assistant turn me down and I won’t ask again – so most everyone will respond favorably to an AAR interview request.  The sky is (almost) the limit.

We’ve got an interview with Lisa Kleypas coming shortly, but that’s all I’ve got formally scheduled for the year.  So, here’s my question:  Who would you like to see interviewed at AAR?

- Sandy AAR

What are You Eagerly Awaiting?

book worm Warm weather is here, or at least it is in my part of the world! I’ve been having fun looking over the new releases for summer and picking out books I’d really like to read. There are new treats to look forward to from Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Hoyt, Meredith Duran, Carla Kelly and Tessa Dare, among others. There’s Kaki Warner’s sequel to Pieces of Sky which I’m dying to read as well as a new medieval from Kris Kennedy whose novel, The Conqueror, I greatly enjoyed. And then there are the debuts that are catching my eye.

Those of you who read here regularly see that each month we post future releases that we want to read. They’re not books we’ve gotten for review; just the books that we as readers very much want to add to our TBRs and hopefully enjoy. For some of these books, we get a chance to interview the authors, too, and that’s always a thrill for me. I love seeing how authors put stories together and with so many, their love of what they do comes through when we talk to them.

So, what books are coming up in the months ahead that you are very interested in reading? And, is there anyone you’d like to see us interview here? We can’t promise anything, but we’re always open to suggestions!

– Lynn Spencer

Hey, Did You Know We’re All Irrelevant?

That’s right. Avon Books still believes that those of us out there writing internet reviews and reading them before we buy books don’t make a difference in the sales numbers. I was a little startled when I first saw this view expressed in Laurie Gold’s 2002 interview with Avon, but downright flabbergasted to see this expressed in 2009. After all, the internet is all-pervasive in today’s culture. People shop online, socialize online, research all manner of things online, and review all manner of items online. Therefore, it seemed a little odd to me to discount the importance of online book reviewing.

Various news stories recently have described the decline of newspapers as internet news sources surge in popularity. For a few examples, see here, here, and here. And if people are turning online to get their information about the world, it stands to reason that they would start turning online to get information about the book world as well. And that’s where I take issue with some of what Avon had to say. Continue reading