Monday, August 3, 2009
CONTEST: Brenda Novak will chose one lucky commenter to win a copy of her new release "The Perfect Couple". Make sure to leave an email address so that we have a way to contact you. Remember NO EMAIL ADDRESS. NO ENTRY. Good Luck Everyone!
Holy cow Batman the day is finally here. New York Bestselling romantic suspense author, Brenda Novack is spending the week with us. Okay, people I am so doing the happy dance. It's not a pretty sight and my girls have disowned me. But I can't help myself. I am about to explode.
I contacted Brenda a few weeks ago and she was gracious enough to come here today to talk about her life, her loves and her new nail-biting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat- thrill ride book release. The Perfect Couple will have you flipping the pages so fast that you'll end up with severely paper cut fingers. I should know. I would show ya..but I'll keep my bandaged nubs to myself..thank you very much. ;-) It took me a complete forty-eight hours to complete The Perfect Couple only taking time to eat, drink and hmmm*clears her throat*--well you get what I mean.
Brenda Novak has done it again with this heart wrenching story of a single mother that doesn't know the meaning of surrender. Zoe's motto is never give up and never surrender. I won't give to much away. Let's just say that Zoe and Jonathon kick ass all the while trying to rescue Zoe's daughter. Okay and yes, I admit it. I threw my copy across the room because I was so crazed by what I read and the situations that the characters had to struggle through. But that is what made The Perfect Couple such a brilliant read. With her hard hitting action, three dimensional flesh and blood characters that fight emotionally with and against their own demons had me rooting for these characters to the bitter end. Seriously this is one book that you won't be able to put down!
Now I have to wait for The Perfect Liar to come out on August 25th. Okay, does Brenda not know how impatient I am.;-) Brenda's books are always on the top of my TBR pile. Okay, don't tell any one or I will deny it. When ever I get my hands on one of Brenda's book I can't help but start to read it. I forget--actually I put what ever I was reading aside until I completely finish Brenda's books. Now, I'm trusting you with this very important secret. Make sure no one knows..;-)
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.
“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”
However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.
Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”
Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.
When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!
THE PERFECT COUPLE
Book 4 in The Last Stand Series
Released: July 28th, 2009
A mother faces her greatest fear.
Zoe Duncan’s thirteen-year-old daughter goes missing from her own backyard while she's home sick from school. The police suspect Samantha’s a runaway—she’s not happy about her mother’s upcoming marriage—but Zoe knows Sam would never do that.
Terrified of losing the person she loves most, Zoe is willing to do anything to bring Sam home, even if it means giving up her job, her nice home and her relationship with the man she thought she wanted….
A detective faces his hardest case.
Jonathan Stivers is a private investigator who donates his time to The Last Stand, a victims’ charity in Sacramento. He’s good at what he does, the best. Which is why he’s called on to help Zoe Duncan find her missing daughter. But never has he had fewer leads to work with—or been more attracted to a client. He’s sure of only one thing: Sam was taken by someone close to the family. He doesn’t realize how close until he realizes that the “perfect” couple next door is anything but…
EXCERPT of The Perfect Couple by Brenda Novak:
Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love.
The bump that came from the trunk of her car surprised Tiffany so much it nearly sent her careening off the road and into one of the houses along the right side. What was going on? The fourteen-year-old boy she and her husband had called “Rover” was supposed to be dead. She couldn’t dump his body if he wasn’t!
What should she do? She gripped the steering wheel so hard her knuckles showed beneath her skin as she tried to decide. She needed to stop and see what was going on. How had someone who’d been killed come back to life? And was Rover merely in a panic because he’d regained consciousness in a dark, confined space? Or was he trying to knock out a taillight in hopes of gaining the attention of the car following behind?
She couldn’t believe he was still breathing, let alone coherent enough to execute such a plan. He was too young to be that smart, wouldn’t dare defy them even if he was. But Rover had to know that this was the end. He’d never see his parents again if he didn’t do something. Wouldn’t that make him willing to take anyrisk?
Tiffany wasn’t sure. It always surprised her how cowed and controllable the early teens her husband brought home really were. Colin had a way with them, knew just the type of individual to pick.
Another thunk caused her palms to grow slick with sweat. Damn it! This wasn’t supposed to happen. It’d certainly never happened before. Colin usually knew what he was doing.
Could anyone else hear the racket Rover was making?
She glanced in her rearview mirror. The black SUV that’d been following her for the past several miles was still there. The driver, a middle-aged woman wearing sunglasses, had her window down to take advantage of the warm spring weather. The wind blew her dark hair back, revealing an oval face with full lips, the kind of face Colin would probably find attractive, despite the age difference. But the woman didn’t look any more interested in Tiffany than she had before.
Or maybe she did. She was following closer....
More movement, sounds of distress drew Tiffany’s nerves taut. I’ve got to pull over.
But if the driver of the SUV had seen or heard something unusual, she might stop, too. And how would Tiffany explain having a boy in her trunk? Especially one in Rover’s condition?
Think! It was better to keep driving. She’d turn at the next light and hope the SUV went straight. There were several ways to reach Highway 50. Once out of the city, beyond Placerville, she could pull down a dirt road in the mountains where she’d be hidden by pine trees.
CAN'T STAND THE SUSPENSE? CLICK AND READ MORE!
Indepth interview with New York Times Bestselling romantic suspense author, Brenda Novak.
CSM: Tell us more about yourself. Readers love learning new and interesting things about an author, and this would give you a chance to make them feel close.
BN: Unlike many other authors out there, I never dreamed I'd be a writer. I thought I had an analytical brain, not a creative one. But then I caught my daycare provider drugging my kids with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer, and could no longer trust someone else with the care of my children. I quit my job to stay home with them, but needed to figure out some way to help make a living (while babysitting). The only skill I knew for sure that I possesses was the ability to type really fast. I considered starting a typing service but, fortunately, I was reading a good book at the time and began to wonder...could I write a novel? I jumped in and gave it a try, and the rest is history.
CSM: If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would=2 0you rather do? Why?
BN: I'd most like to go to dinner and a movie with my family. But barring that, I'd like to watch some true crime TV, read a true crime book or research book, or get caught up on email.
CSM: What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
BN: LOL See above. I like to read true crime. It gives me the "feel" of a real investigation and helps me make my novels more realistic. It also gives me some ideas for things I'd like to have happen in my books.
CSM: What type of music do you relax to?
BN: Pop music. My kids load my iPod for me so I have everything from rap to El Divo. LOL
CSM: Besides being a total book junkie I’m also a music junkie. When I’m writing I have a sound track playing either in my mind or in my cd player. What’s your sound track? What type of music is on it?
BN: I have to have silence when I write. Music distracts me too much when I'm in the "zone." But I've noticed that certain sound tracks motivate me to create when I'm not writing--the sound track for Phantom of the Opera or, especially, Les Miserables, are two examples.
CSM: What is your favorite stress reliever?
BN: Exercise and/or sleep.
CSM: What is your favorite food?
BN: Homemade salsa or homemade soup.
CSM: Describe yourself in one word?
CSM: What’s your biggest regret in life?
BN: That life can be so unfair to some people.
CSM: What is the adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
BN: I once went spelunking with my husband. You might not think that very adventurous, but I'm claustrophobic, so it was *quite* the adventure, especially when we had to squeeze through crev ices that were so narrow was had to turn our heads to the side and be pulled through by our ankles. At one point, we were climbing down a sheer wall; my husband was behind me (and he's no small fellow), and his best friend was in front of me (a guy 6'4" tall). The friend got stuck because he couldn't get through something, and we couldn't go back the way we'd come because you could climb down that wall but not up, and I just about had a panic attack.
CSM: How would readers find out more about you?
BN: There's a lot of information on my Web site. I have a media kit there that has FAQs.
CSM: When did you write your first book?
BN: I started around 1994. It took me five years to write that first book because I was still having my family (ended up with five kids!) and I had to teach myself the craft at the same time, but I sold that book to HarperCollins. It was a historical romance that came out in November 1999.
CSM: Did you encounter any obstacles in writing?
BN: There are always obstacles in writing. I chose to start with a historical, so not only did I have to teach myself the craft of novel writing, I had to become intimately familiar with a period20in history I essentially knew nothing about before I started. It was quite an experience, but I learned a lot and I still love that book. It's called OF NOBLE BIRTH.
CSM: What do you think about editing?
BN: I LOVE editing more than I do writing. I feel sort of like Susan Elizabeth Phillips on this one--the polishing process is such a joy.
CSM: Where and when do you write?
BN: I write every day, treat my writing like a full-time job, because that's what it is. I have an office in our guest house (fortunately, gone are the days when I was trying to write in the dining room with five kids running wild through the house--LOL). It's a quiet, beautiful place, and I love to go there. I can really get swept away in my work.
CSM: What books would you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot structuring, dialogue, etc?
BN: I've never read a "how to" book. They scare me. I think they take what comes instinctually and move it over into the conscious brain, and I find that overwhelming--like trying to see a zillion moves into the future in a chess game. I find it easier to learn from reading books I really like to see how the author handled the material. But many friends have recommended the SAVE THE CAT book (can't remember the author's name, sorry!).
CSM: What is your must-have book for writing?
BN: A good novel that carries me away and completely captures my imagination.
CSM: What is your advice for aspiring writers?
CSM: What genre(s) do you write?
BN: Primarily romantic suspense, but I hope to continue with my straight contemporaries when I have more time to write them.
CSM: Among that you’ve written which is your favorite book and why?
BN: Wow--I think my favorite is always the one I'm currently writing, because it's the one that's front and center in my imagination. But. ..STOP ME, the book that finaled in the Rita, will probably always be one of my favorites. I really like THE PERFECT COUPLE, too, the book that just came out. It has a very interesting and unusual villain.
CSM: Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook in case you forget?
BN: I watch a lot of true crime, which offers up tons of ideas. I also read the paper and check out what's going on online. I don't jot them down--but I should. Ideas seem to come from all over. Once you start writing, your brain sort of begins to sift differently. You're always looking for a good idea, so you can find them almost anywhere.
CSM: Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?
BN: There's a little bit of the people I know in all my characters, but I haven't really recreated any one person in my books. I tried that once. I put my unconventional mother-in-law in a book, and my editor told me to take her out. "She's not believable," she said. LOL
CSM: Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you?
BN: Again, each of my heroines have a part of me in them, but none are a complete recreation. My husband always chuckles when I read him my books (we do this on long car rides) because he can spot different facets of my personality in my heroines' personalities.
CSM: Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?
BN: I'd probably have to say Clay Montgomery is one of my strongest/hottest/lovable. The sacrifice he's willing to make for those around him, particularly the women in his family, is so honorable and cool. I just love that character.
CSM: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?
BN: It happens all the time. It's why I don't plot! LOL I figure, "Why bother?" They always take off on their own, but that's what makes writing interesting to me. I like to be surprised each day, too (just like any reader).
CSM: Tell us more about your current release by MIRA The Perfect Couple .
BN: In THE PERFECT COUPLE, Zoe Duncan’s thirteen-year-old daughter goes missing from her own backyard while home sick from school and private investigator Jonathan Stivers is called on to help find her. But he's never had fewer leads to work with--and is sure of only one thing: Sam was taken by someone close to the family. H e has no idea how close until he realizes that the “perfect” couple next door is anything but...
CSM: Any new projects, works in progress?
BN: Yes, I have three more books coming out next summer. They're titled WHITE HEAT, BODY HEAT and KILLER HEAT, and they're the beginning of a brand new series called Department 6.
CSM: I want to take this time to thank you Brenda for stopping by and sharing with my readers and myself a little bit about yourself. This sure has been loads of fun. I hope you enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having you.
BN: THANK YOU!!!