Monday, 17 December 2012

Let It Snow Books: Interview with Ruthie Knox + Giveaway


This week I bring you some of my recently discovered, new favourite contemporary romance authors and to kick off the Week of Fantabulous Contemporary Romance Authors I am very happy to welcome back to Ex Libris the lovely Ruthie Knox, author of many beloved contemporary romances, but she enchanted me irrevocably with her debut novel Ride with Me (read my review to see my thoughts about one of the biggest revelations of 2012)! So please give a warm welcome to Ruthie and read on to discover more about her and how she spends the holidays (and needless to say don't forget to enter the terrific giveaway at the end)! ;-) 

Stella: Is there anything special you usually do for the holidays? Any special family tradition?

Ruthie: Growing up, my family was always pretty flexible about traditions. We had no extended family living nearby, so some years we drove 14 hours to Iowa, other years 10 hours to upstate New York, and still other years we stayed home. The basics of Christmas were the same, though—advent calendar, tree, lights, stockings, presents. Turns out my own little family—husband, four-year-old son, and I—follows the same simple approach.

Stella: Do you have any favourite holiday themed stories (movies or books)?

Ruthie: I love It’s a Wonderful Life and try to watch it every Christmas—and my own Christmas novella, Room at the Inn, is an homage to that movie. I’m also inordinately fond of Love, Actually.

Stella: Could you share with us your favourite holiday meal/dessert/candy?

Ruthie: Most years, I make at least twelve and sometimes closer to twenty mocha pound cakes to give away for Christmas. This is my grandma’s recipe, and if you make it right, it’s the best cake in the history of humanity! The trick is to leave it semi-uncooked in the middle, so that every slice is moist and fudgy and mmmm . . . Need to go make some mocha pound cake. (Recipe at the end of this post!)

Stella: Yum, sounds delicious. *taking notes* What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

Ruthie: Seeing family. Just as I did as a kid, I live far from my parents, brothers, cousins, and in-laws. It gets lonely, and I love having the chance to see my relatives at Christmastime.

Stella: What’s one of the best gifts you ever received/gave for Christmas?

Ruthie: Every year, Santa brings me a box of Costas York Club Sandwiches. These are a local candy from the area in Pennsylvania where I was born and lived until the second grade. Think “dryish government peanut butter spread between Saltine crackers and dipped in chocolate” and you’ll have the general idea, but they’re 1000x more yummy than I can express, and I only get them at Christmas. These days, one could order them on the Internet (if one wanted to cheat on Christmas), but it used to be that my mom would have to get out her Rolodex and call up the company over the phone. This is love!

Stella: What makes you feel that Christmas time is finally here?

Ruthie: When I start making mocha pound cakes, salted caramels, and fudge to send as gifts, Christmas has arrived.

Stella: Please complete: Christmas/the holidays wouldn't be the real deal without...

Ruthie: …too many cookies and a lot of leisure time in which to lay about in comfy clothes, read books, watch TV, and play cards with family.

Stella: Since this whole event is about the Best Books we read in 2012, could you share with us some of your favourite titles you have read this year?

Ruthie: Absolutely! Some of my favorite romances of 2012 were Molly O’Keefe’s Can’t Hurry Love and Theresa Weir’s Long Night Moon in contemporary romance; Cara McKenna’s Curio, Delphine Dryden’s Theory of Attraction, and Anne Calhoun’s Liberating Lacey in erotic romance; and Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke, LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory, Cecilia Grant’s A Lady Awakened, and Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart in historical romance.

Stella: We all love Christmas holidays, but I was wondering if there’s anything about them that you find annoying?

Ruthie: I have to confess, I get a little annoyed with the social pressure to spend a vast amount of money at Christmas. My husband and I are the only people I know who don’t buy presents for everyone in the family. In fact, we just buy a few presents for each other and our son, photo books for the grandparents, and everyone else gets baked goods and a Christmas letter. Sometimes I feel as though we’re committing a horrid crime by doing Christmas this way—and that’s weird and not-right, that the holiday has been twisted so much that it should be possible to feel that way.

Stella: Let’s say you have the chance to spend the holidays with a fictional character, who would that be and what would you be doing?

Ruthie: I don’t think I’d trade Christmas with my family for anyone. But I will say that I can easily envision Tom and Lexie taking a Christmas bike ride in all their cold-weather riding gear and then warming up later with a shower and some cocoa… Or Nev and Cath escaping Nev’s family and hiding out in front of the fireplace in the library at Leyton with heavy glasses of whiskey and each other for amusement… And those are lovely Christmas visions to have, as well!

Stella: What would you ask Santa to bring you this year?

Ruthie: I’m hoping for a plain, thin sweater or two to replace my holey brown cashmere hoodie and my holey gray cashmere V-neck, both of which I’ve worn to death. (But they’re so soft!)

Stella: What would be your (bookish or not) New Year’s resolutions, if you make any?

Ruthie: Write more books, have fun, and try not to take life—or reading—too seriously!


Ruthie’s Mocha Pound Cake Recipe

2/3 c. butter, softened
2 c. flour
Source
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 Tbsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda.
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
powdered sugar for the top

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325. Line loaf pan with waxed paper or parchment paper.

Mix all ingredients but chocolate and eggs together until flour is damp. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and chocolate and beat another minute.

Pour into loaf pan and bake 65-70 minutes, or until top is cracked and cake is still moist inside. Cool 10 minutes.

Remove from pan and sift with powdered sugar.

Tips

—Mocha pound cake is okay when it’s overcooked, but it’s insanely awesomely good when you cook it just the right amount, which is still moist (bordering on raw) in the middle. You want to make sure that it's done at the edges and some of the way toward the middle, but not at the center. The less-cooked part of the cake ends up fudgy and amazing. You might have to cut the cooking time back to get this result.

—I always make two of these cakes at a time, since it's just as easy as making one. For two, I bake about 60 minutes, then test. In our oven, that's long enough.


Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.

These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.

You can find Ruthie at 

her website - blog - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox

In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!

When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.

Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.

Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?



The Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox in the Naughty & Nice anthology

Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind... like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

And Ruthie is extra generous as she would like to make happy 4 winners: 2 copies of Ride with Me and 2 copies of the Naughty & Nice anthology are being offered!

 

To be entered in the giveaway just complete the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 5 January 2013!

Good luck!

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