Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: The Cowboy of Valentine Valley and A Promise at Bluebell Hill (Valentine Valley #3, #4) by Emma Cane

Published: January 28th, 2014


Welcome to Valentine Valley, where the cowboys have many talents and love is waiting around every corner . . . 

Ever since a heated late-night kiss—that absolutely should not have happened—cowboy Josh Thalberg makes former Hollywood bad girl Whitney Winslow's pulse beat faster. But when she decides to use his gorgeous leatherwork in her new upscale lingerie shop, Leather & Lace, she's determined to keep their relationship strictly professional . . . even if she wants so much more. 

Josh has never met a challenge he isn't up for. Which is probably why he allowed Whitney to persuade him to take the sexy publicity photo that went viral—and now has every woman in America knocking down his door . . . every woman except the one he can't get out of his head. 

But how to convince a reformed bad girl that some rules are worth breaking?

Published: February 25th, 2014


Welcome to Valentine Valley, where romance blooms and love captivates even the most guarded of hearts . . . 

From the moment Secret Service agent Travis Beaumont strides into the town and through the door of Monica Shaw's flower shop, she feels a sizzle of attraction. After years of putting everyone else's needs first, Monica is ready to grab hold of life. If she can just persuade the ultimate protector to let his own walls down for once . . . 

The President's son is getting married in Valentine Valley, and Travis should be avoiding all distractions . . . not fantasizing about a forthright, sexy-as-hell florist. Especially when she's keeping secrets that could jeopardize his assignment. But just this once, Travis is tempted to put down the rulebook and follow his heart—right to Monica's door. 

Roses are red, violets are blue, and in Valentine Valley, love will always find you. 

Thank you, Mrs.Emma Cane

We have an idea of what a bad boy is. What about a bad girl? And how does Whitney’s past fit into the bad girl description? 
I think our characters become bad boys or girls because of things that happen in their past that make them want to rebel, to live life freely, to question authority, to want only to have a good time. Whitney spent a year as a “bad girl.” She grew up raised by very wealthy but distant parents who shipped her off to boarding school. On holidays, she spent more time with the servants than her own parents. But she firmly believed she had a place in the family empire and majored in business to prove to her dad that the women in her family didn’t just have to work in the charity arm of their corporation. But her dad didn’t see it that way, crushing all of her dreams and making her feel second class in their family. So she became Whitney Wild, partying with the wealthy crowds all over the planet and being followed by paparazzi everywhere. When a particularly shocking photo of her went viral, she realized she had to change her life and succeed in her own business, just for herself.

What does it take to write and maintain the cowboy’s “aura” in your series?
The first thing I did when I knew I’d be writing cowboys was research. I swear I research just as much for this series as I do my historical romances (written as Gayle Callen). I learned all about every season on a ranch, and the hard, dangerous, sometimes-solitary work cowboys do. And that helped me study the kind of person who would be a cowboy (or cowgirl). Here are some of the qualities I try to instill in my cowboys: honor (they believe in honesty and treating people right), strength (their job is physically demanding), know-how (they do everything from doctoring cows to repairing engines). And of course, a cowboy looks good in jeans, cowboy boots, and hat. ;)

What is it in the Valentine Valley water that makes everybody fall in love? How do you create believable independent, but connected stories?
What’s in the water? ;) Good one. I guess I approached this series from the beginning as a place with the reputation for love. I wanted it to be where people came to propose, or to get married, hence “Valentine” in the name. I wanted people to come for the “Valentine Valley” postmark on their wedding invitations. Creating a quaint, historic town in the shadows of the mountains gave it a picturesque feeling, which I think is important. Having lots of romantic places helps: rose gardens, gazebos, B&Bs, hot springs, beautiful old inns, original architecture. 

As for creating the stories, that starts with the people, of course, and their families (so important in small-town books). I deliberately gave my first cowboy hero, Nate, a sister and brother, and gave our newly arrived heroine Emily, two new girlfriends to confide in. That populates the town with single characters who can be future heroes and heroines. And I give my characters groups of friends to be social with, parents who care (or, sadly, don’t care, but that’s pretty rare in Valentine Valley), and quirky secondary characters like the mischievous widows who live in the Widows’ Boardinghouse. Small town books need a sense of community—it’s not just about the hero and heroine. And then as each new book is written, I bring a lot of those characters back, so you can see that they’ve gone on with their lives, too, making the stories seem more real. But always at the center are a new hero and heroine with their own story. I never want my reader to feel left out if they haven’t read the other books—but I do want them to be curious enough to go read about past characters.

Love and true love – what is the difference and what your characters believe about LOVE?
Wow, that’s a deep question! The difference between love and true love seems to be that you love your family and your friends, but true love is something you share exclusively with your soul mate, the person you’re destined to be with forever. That’s the important part of romance novels—finding that one true love and making it work. I think every character approaches that differently—some think it’s not for them, or they’ve never found it, or maybe they once had it and let it go through neglect and pride. That last premise is in the book I just finished writing, SLEIGH BELLS ON MAIN STREET, which comes out in November. The various ways characters change their beliefs about true love are what makes each book different.

What will your romances always have and what will your characters be/not be?
Well, the most important expectations are a happy ending and true love, so of course my romances will have that. ;) My small-town romances will always have lots of secondary characters, people to interact with, family members. My heroes and heroines aren’t just focused on the romance, but on what else is going on in their lives, like problems with a sibling or a job. I always want my characters to grow emotionally, to learn something about themselves and change for the better with the help of the romance, but not just because of it.
About the author:
Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies. Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.

Author's Giveaway
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Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview, excellent questions.

Emma Cane said...

I totally agree about the questions--they really made me think! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Emma is a new author to me...and I can't wait to read her books now! Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Didn't have the chance to read these books yet, but would love to lose myself in the Valentine Valley Romance.

Kai said...

I haven't read any of Emma's books. I do have one of her books but haven't had time to read it yet.

Emma Cane said...

Thanks everyone! And thank you, Kai, for having one of my books already!

Unknown said...

Emma is a new author to me, but the interview and book cover really makes me interested. Thanks

Bunniker said...

I have heard of Emma Cane, but I have never read her.

Alex said...

Emma is new to me. I like how she writes and I'm looking forward to getting to know her and her work.

RobinM said...

Emma Cane is a new to me author but I look forward to learning more about her and reading her books!!! ♥