We are very excited to welcome Author Karen Rock to Joyfully Reviewed!
Ms. Rock’s is going to share with us her latest release, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL!
He’d always managed to best her…
Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he’s not playing fair.
Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that’s always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?
Please tell us a bit about your latest release.
My latest release is HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, out April 2014. It’s a Harlequin Heartwarming novel which means that we focus on the emotional and romantic aspects of the relationship rather than the physical ones. Because of that, incorporating families, communities and traditional values in the story is important and HIS HOMETOWN GIRL does all of those. It’s a second chance love story between two former childhood sweethearts who grew up in Vermont dairy country. After Jodi’s father lost his arm using a piece of faulty equipment borrowed from Daniel’s family, the families fought and the two were separated. Years later, a newly single Jodi is offered a chance to earn the bonus she desperately needs to pay for her autistic son’s pricy, specialized day care- if she returns to her hometown and convinces farmers to sell their land to her agribusiness corporation. Daniel, on the other hand, wants to save his small town, farming way of life, and offers an alternative- a co-op in which the farmers produce organic food from ethically treated animals- which will allow them to command higher prices and compete against mega-farms like Jodi’s employer. So the battle begins… not just for the farms… but for one another’s heart.
Are you attending any conventions in 2014?
If so, what are the top three reasons as to why you like/choose them? On May 2-4th , I’m attending the spring conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as I’m giving a couple of workshops to aspiring writers and signing copies of book #2, CAMP PAYBACK, of my co-authored teen romance series, CAMP BOYFRIEND. I love attending this conference as I get to meet with fellow YA authors, give workshops, and hone my skills by attending others. On May 29th -31st, I’ll be at Book Expo of America (BEA) and signing copies of HIS HOMETOWN GIRL at the RWA booth on May 31st, Saturday, at 11:00. I love this conference because it’s in NYC (very glamorous!) and the books at my signing are free, so I’m excited at the opportunity to meet with lots of new fans and chat about wholesome romance. In July, I’ll be at RWA’s national conference from the 23rd-26th. I’ll be signing WISH ME TOMORROW, the winner of the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Award for Series Contemporary Romance at the Literacy Signing Event on July 23rd 5:30-7:30. All proceeds go to raising money to help promote literacy in underprivileged communities. A great cause that I’m proud to support! This is a wonderful conference to meet with your editors and the other authors in your romance line, as well as firm up plans on future writing projects for the upcoming year.
What is your favorite romance genre and what author makes you absolutely swoon?
My favorite romance genre is contemporary. I love all kinds- love is love- but there is something about grounding a romance in the real world that makes me connect to it more strongly. I’ll cheer louder, cry more and experience the emotions more deeply when I can relate to the characters and what they are going through. I love John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, which is a YA contemporary romance and have never read a romance that moved me more. I also love Nicholas Sparks and Jo Jo Moyers.
What is your dream vacation spot?
I’ve always wanted to go to Bora Bora because it has those little huts over that crystal blue water and white sands. I love the idea of waking up to ocean breezes, having breakfast on your balcony, looking down at the colorful fishes, then diving right in for a refreshing swim. It sounds like paradise!
What do you think has been the most important moment or event of your life so far? And why do you feel that way?
That would have to be, after seventeen hours in the hospital, and one hour of pushing, the time when doctor handing me a wrapped bundle and said, “Meet your daughter.” Nothing- no amount of book sales, critical acclaim, or wealth could ever match the miracle and privilege of being a mom. I’m the luckiest person in the word to have that blessing. I’m thankful for it every day.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
I believe in the power of love to create positive changes in people and the world. And love comes in all forms. A parent and child, siblings, lasting friendships, spouses, and singles. I love writing rich, layered books that incorporate all facets of love and involving daily life in realistic ways so that we see that we don’t all have to be kidnapped princesses or attract the attention of millionaires to be worthy of love. My characters aren’t perfect and they aren’t looking for the perfect man. They are hoping to find the love that is perfect for them and that’s different for everyone. I think that’s what makes a romance great- when we can see ourselves in it and understand that love is possible for everyone.
Boxers or Brief– Can I chose boxer briefs- the fitted tight kind?
Manscape or Not– Depends on how much is needed I think.
Lights On or Lights Off– Candles with lights off!
Summer or Winter– Summer! Barbeques, pools, family picnics…
Peanuts or Chocolate– chocolate, though I’d take chocolate-covered peanuts.
Batman or Superman– Superman! That chest is all his- not a bat suit J
The Voice or American Idol– The Voice. I love Adam and Blake’s bickering. Too funny. And the help they give the contestants really works.
Christmas or Birthday– I love seeing people opening gifts- their excitement is a gift for me- so I would say Christmas. I always feel embarrassed to be the center of attention, so if I celebrate my birthday, I like to do it with my dear friend whose birthday is one day before mine.
Heels or Flats– Do socks count? Lol. I like the look of heels and since my legs aren’t that long, pants kind of drag without them, but flats are so much more comfy!
Talk or Text– Text! I make up the way a character sounds in my head while reading and if it doesn’t match what the book narrator sounds like, then- game over.
Action Movie or Comedy– Comedy- especially a romantic one. Love Actually is one of my favorites. I also love Bridget Jones Diary.
Facebook or Twitter– Facebook because you can see what your friends are up to and have a real chance to talk to them.
Thanks so much for having me today! It’s been a pleasure
Karen is giving one lucky reader a copy of
HIS HOMETOWN GIRL!
Woohoo!! Leave a comment to enter. Contest open until May 6th, 2014.
**Winner is being Notified Via Email**