Today I am very happy to welcome back to Ex Libris the wonderful Karen Erickson, who is celebrating the release of her first Entangled title: the heartwarming and moving Jane's Gift, which was released in time to get you in the holiday mood! Join us as I chat with Karen around gingerbread cookies and pumpkin lattes about love, holidays and most of all her new book: Jane's Gift! Please give a warm welcome to Karen, Jane and Christian (the heroine and hero of jane's Gift) read on to discover more about the book, and don'forget to enter the TWO giveaways at the end to win either a $10 USD Amazon gift card or a Kindle Paperwhite, wow! :-D
Stella: Hi Karen, welcome back to Ex Libris! :-) So good to have you back, especially since you brought along such wonderful guests! (waves at Jane and Christian who have arrived hand in hand)
Karen: Hey Stella! So excited to be back. Love hanging out on your blog with you! You always ask the best questions. :-)
Stella: Aww thank you Karen! Hi Jane and Christian, help yourself to the cupcakes and hot chocolate/mulled wine in the other room until then I'll just ask Karen a couple questions (winks to Karen as they turn to exit the room). So let's get down to business Karen before these two come back, I wouldn't want to embarrass them. :-)
Karen: *rubs hands together* Let’s do this!
Stella: Your latest novel Jane's Gift was released just recently by Entangled Publishing in their brand new Bliss line, congratulations! Can you tell readers what they can expect of this story?
Karen: Thank you, Stella! I’m excited to be a part of Entangled’s Bliss imprint. JANE’S GIFT is the story about a widow who survived a house fire and has returned to her small hometown and her close-knit family with her three small children, ready to rebuild her life. Jane meets her brother’s best friend—the gorgeous fire captain Christian Nelson—and the attraction between them is instant.
But these two have a lot of baggage between them. Somehow, they manage to make it work. :-)
Stella: Entangled Publishing's Bliss line is marketed as sweet heartfelt romances, which knowing your previous stories comes as quite the surprise since you love to turn up the heat and your stories are pretty steamy… What made you decide to write a tamer story, or it wasn't like that, the story started out in this sweet tone and never wanted to cross into scorching territory?
Karen: Well, I’m going to be honest—I wrote JANE’S GIFT three years ago for another publisher and it was eventually rejected. In fact, it’s been rejected a solid three times so luckily enough my editor at Bliss saw the diamond in the rough and offered for it (I guess for this book, the fourth time is the charm LOL). Then she took it and made it shine. :-)
At the time I wrote it, I was burned out on the erotic stuff. It was fun to challenge myself and write something different. Though I will also confess…the book was sexier in its original form. Not by much. But yeah, I had to do a little editing surgery.
|Rachel McAdams as Jane|
Karen: Oh my, this is such a TOUGH question! Hmm…I can see a dark-haired Rachel McAdams as Jane. And Chris. Well, I had no visual inspiration for him while writing their book. They were both all in my head. We could always reunite Rachel with Ryan Gosling…
Stella: Could you introduce Jane and Christian, the heroine and hero of Jane's Gift?
Karen: Here’s a bit from when Jane first saw Chris:
When her eyes finally lit upon his face, she couldn’t help but notice how attractive he was. Dark-as-night hair, tanned skin that showed he spent most of his time outdoors, and defined bone structure. Strong nose, jaw, and cheekbones, though his mouth appeared soft…
|Ryan Gosling as Christian|
They’d all failed to mention just how pretty Jane Clark was. Her above-shoulder-length dark brown hair curled around a heart-shaped face and eyes as green as grass. They’d been filled with wariness and sadness and…awareness when he’d first locked gazes with her.
Needless to say, they were both instantly attracted to each other. :-)
Stella: And now that Jane and Christian are back, take a seat guys and thanks so much for having joined us today at Ex Libris! *grins* Let’s have Couple’s Therapy! Oh no, no worries Christian, it's just the feature name of this section, nothing to worry about. So Jane, Christian, please do tell us: If you had to introduce each other, what 3 words would you use to describe the other?
Jane: Hi Stella! Okay, I would say Christian is thoughtful, patient and handsome. *blushes*
Christian: I can only use three words to describe Jane, huh? That’ll be tough. Hmm, well Jane is beautiful. Generous. And sweet. Can I say beautiful again?
Stella: Lol, you sure can, no woman would ovject to hearing that repeated about herself. ;-) What is the quality that you like the most in the other and the one that drives you up the wall?
Jane: Christian accepts me so easily and I love that. Needed it really, after everything I’ve been through. But he’s also stubborn. He’s not big on confrontation. But what guy is?
Christian: Hey. *looks slightly offended*
Jane: It’s true. But I still love you. *She leans in for a kiss, which he returns lovingly.*
Christian: See how sweet she is? She wants to help anyone and everyone, even me. But she can also be full of doubt and I don’t like it when she doesn’t believe in herself. She’s a fighter and she doesn’t even know it.
Stella: Aww, you guys. *sighs* What was your first fight about?
Jane: Um, he bailed on me. After we were…intimate.
Christian: Yeah, I ran. That’s probably all I can say or we’ll be talking spoilers.
(Karen wags a finger at them—no spoilers!)
Stella: Was there a specific moment you realized “wow, I just love that person!”?
Christian: Let’s just say the night Jane came to my house after Christmas shopping with her friend Chloe, I knew then that I was head over heels for her.
*Jane shakes her head, more blushing. More kissing.*
Stella: Karen, *whispers so the lovebirds who are busy in their own soft discussion don't hear* I heard that there will be a sequel to Jane's Gift, Cameron's Homecoming. Could you tell us a bit about that story, what we can expect and most important when? :-)
Karen: Oh, Cameron…I must say, I finished his book over a month ago and he is still lingering with me. I loved writing his and Chloe’s book so much. I have the best job, I love writing but every book is a different experience. Some are harder than others and you don’t know why. Some you hate while writing them and when you look at the finished product, you wonder why you hated it so much.
But sometimes, I write a book and it’s full of such magic while I’m submerged in the process, I just know it’s got that something. That’s how I felt while writing CAMERON’S HOMECOMING. Cam and Chloe grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let me go! They made me cry too. So I hope their story will touch readers as much as they touched me (and it’s tentatively scheduled for March 2013—yay!).
Stella: Oh Karen now you made me yearn to read it and I'll have to wait 'till March, not nice *pouts* But Cam definitely sounds like an intense hero... Can you tell us any behind the scenes secret related to Jane's Gift? (either to the writing process, or some tidbit about the characters, a scene that didn’t end up in the final version, etc.)
Karen: Jane originally suffered her injuries and lost her husband in a plane crash. We switched that out for the house fire. It made more sense in relation to the context of the story.
Also, Cameron, who is Jane’s big brother, absolutely did not appear in the book whatsoever. There was literally one mention of him and that was it. My editor was like, you want the next book to be about Cameron yet we know nothing about him! Oops…so I corrected that.
Stella: Lol, yes, that would have been a bit weird, him not having any introduction :-) Can you summarize Jane's Gift for us Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?
Karen: A fire captain afraid of commitment. A widowed mom scared of fire. Can the magic of the holiday season bring them together & find true love?
Stella: Jane's Gift has a very holiday cover: plenty of snow, pine trees and a big red bow. You have several holiday novellas, what do you like about the holidays? What inspires you newer and newer stories to set around this time of the year?
Stella: Yay! You are my soul-sister Karen, I'm also a Christmas-aholic and LOVE reading holiday themed books! :-D Anything else you'd like to share with us while you three are all here?
Karen: I want to add that it was a true pleasure writing Jane and Chris’s story and I’m so excited to share it with everyone. Hopefully I’ve created a couple—and a family—that will make readers smile and wish they could spend more time with. And that’s touched their hearts, too.
Stella: Karen, they sure did mine. Thank you and Jane and Christian so much for stopping by it was a pleasure meeting you all! :-D
Karen: Thank you for having us! Stella, I’d encourage Jane and Chris to say goodbye but the lovebirds are involved in their own little world so forgive them. :-)
Happy holidays everyone!
Book #1 in the Lone Pine Lake series
A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.
Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow—even though kids and commitment have never been his style.
Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?
There are TWO giveaways going on:
Karen has generously offered a $10 USD Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!
To enter just leave a comment/question for Karen, Jane or Chris, or answer this question: What is your favourite thing about the holidays?
Karen is giving away a beautiful gift box necklace by Jol Creations and a Kindle Paperwhite to one lucky reader who follows her book tour.
To be entered just complete the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway