Today we are so lucky to have one of my newly discovered and favorite contemporary authors, Shannon Stacey. Her Kowalski Series books, published by Carina Press, are fun and sexy, all centering around a tight knit and fun family. Her writing style pulled me in and had me falling in love.
Shannon’s newest release, Yours to Keep, releases TODAY and features yet another sexy Kowalski hero. Check back later this afternoon for MinnChica and Has’ joint review on this FABULOUS read! And for those of you who are hoping to see the Kowalski’s in print, have no fear, Harlequin HQN will be publishing these books in 2012!
Thanks again Shannon for being here today!
Book Pushers: Can you tell us what’s in store for Yours to Keep?
Shannon: Thank you so much for inviting me! Yours To Keep is about Sean Kowalski, who’s cousin to the guys in Exclusively Yours and Undeniably Yours. Fresh out of the Army, he’s planning to live in the apartment over Jaspers Bar & Grille until he figures out what do with the rest of his life. Emma Shaw’s been pretending to have a fiancé to put her grandmother’s mind at ease and, being BFFs with Lisa Kowalski, she kind of threw Sean’s name out there. Now her grandmother’s coming to visit and she needs him to move in and pretend to be madly in love with her…for a month. There’s only one problem—they’ve never actually met. When he agrees to be her fake fiancé for a month, romance and hi-jinks ensue, Kowalski-style!
Book Pushers: What other books do you have planned for the Kowalski series? Or do you have any other projects lined up?
Shannon: There are more Kowalskis coming, but the series is moving to Maine. Sean, the hero of Yours To Keep, was born and raised at the Northern Star Lodge, which caters to snowmobilers, and the next three books in the series follow Sean’s siblings as they come home to help out when the youngest brother breaks his leg. I’ll also have a stand-alone Christmas novella in December, as well as getting the fourth book in my Devlin Group series fit in there…somewhere.
Book Pushers: Out of the series, which has been your favourite book and character?
Shannon: I have such a soft spot for Exclusively Yours. I really, really love that book and it’s always going to be one of my favorites. And I’m not sure about a specific character (okay, Kevin), but Sean and Emma might be favorite couple. Emma might be my favorite of all the heroines I’ve written so far, actually.
Book Pushers: Where did the inspirations for the Kowalski family come from? Your own crazy family antics?
Shannon: My family’s a little more scattered than the Kowalskis, but we’re still close. And we’re fairly funny people. But the Kowalskis started with me writing a story just for fun, filled with stuff I enjoyed. Four-wheelers and mud and DEET jokes and crazy kids. I didn’t think anybody else would be interested, so I was writing it for me. Then, when Carina announced itself, I started thinking that maybe if I liked roaming raccoons and s’mores in my books, others would, too. Essentially, the Kowalskis came about because I was writing the book I wanted to read.
Book Pushers: What was your reaction to finding out that Harlequin’s HQN line wanted to put your stories in print?
Shannon: I’m ecstatic! Everybody at Carina Press has given 100% to this series so, beyond my personal crazy-awesome-joy at having my name share a cover with the HQN logo, I’m thrilled about this opportunity to showcase the awesome work the Carina team has done to a broader readership. Also, my mom’s not a digital reader and she’s the kind of mom who’ll accost strangers in the book aisle at Wal-Mart and tell them, “My daughter wrote this!”. Now she’ll be able to do that, which made us both cry a little.
Book Pushers: You and your family seem to be active outdoor lovers. What’s your favorite summer and winter outdoor activity? Do you have big camping outings like the Kowalski’s?
Shannon: Confession time—I’m not an outdoors lover. There are gouges in the door frame my fingernails made as my husband tried to drag me out to work in the garden. The only thing I like to do outside is ride my four-wheeler, so that would be my favorite outdoor activity. My husband’s a snowmobiler, but my winter sport is reading. As for camping, we have a camper parked in a campground, and it has a TV with cable and a microwave. There’s a pool. An air-conditioned store that has ice cream and—this year—wi-fi! That’s about as outdoorsy as we get. We’re hotel people, really, but we needed a place in northern New Hampshire to ATV from.
Book Pushers: What draws you to the contemporary romance genre? Any plans to venture out to historical or paranormal or science fiction or another genre?
Shannon: I love contemporary romance because it’s like the real world, only funnier and sexier and more dramatic and, quite often, more romantic. It’s larger than life. But my backlist does have an erotic futuristic (light), a ghost romance, a paranormal shifter, and two westerns so I’ve dipped my toes in other genres. Except for another western, though, I’ll be focusing on contemporary romances going forward—both straight contemporary romance like the Kowalski series and action-adventure romances for my Devlin Group series.
Book Pushers: Have you ever thought about collaborating with another author? If so, who would you want to work with?
Shannon: I’ve never seriously considered a collaboration. Sadly, I neither share nor play well with others. I’m also a little bit of a control freak and could see myself yelling, “But I don’t want them to have sex in the shower! I want them to have sex on the kitchen table!” Should Nora ever want to collaborate with me, however, I would totally let her be the boss of sex.
Book Pushers: According to Twitter you are a HUGE football fan, specifically the NE Patriots. (MinnChica – BOO Always have been and always will be a Vikings fan!) Would you ever want to write books about sport stars?
Shannon: I’m not sure why I haven’t written a sports hero. And I don’t read as many as one might expect, either, though I loved Jill Shalvis’s Santa Barbara Heat books (baseball) and The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton (football). I think, considering how grueling their schedules are and how much focus and determination it takes to be a top athlete, I have a hard time buying the romantic fantasy. And yet I’ll fall for a multi-gazllionaire who marries the mousy secretary who becomes a supermodel when she takes her glasses off and the scrunchy out of her hair. Makes no sense. Also, how much more embarrassing would it be if I got the sports wrong? But you never know… (Spoiler alert: In the football book I may never write, the Vikings lose. Sorry.)
Book Pushers: Will you be writing anymore westerns? (Really really enjoyed them and hope you do more -Has) And if so, do you have any characters in mind?
Shannon: I do have at least one more western I really want to write. Like Taming Eliza Jane and Becoming Miss Becky, it’ll be set in Gardiner, Texas, and I know the title, the heroine’s name and the first line, but I don’t really have a grasp on the story or characters yet. I loved writing those westerns, so I’m determined to get that one written soon.
Book Pushers: Family is a huge theme in your books especially with the Kowalski series – Since the Kowalski’s are pretty competitive what famous or infamous family (they could be real or fictional) would they would like to compete with?
Shannon: The Kowalskis would love to challenge the “Modern Family” family to a race through an ATV obstacle course of DOOM! I can imagine Gloria bouncing (literally) over the rocks. Cam getting roosted with mud. Claire stressed because they’re not doing it right and Manny using his pocket square to wipe his goggles, while Luke’s still trying to figure out how to start his ATV. The Kowalskis could totally take the Pritchetts and Dunphys!
Book Pushers: Who is your all time favourite hero and heroine?
Shannon: That’s a very hard question. I think my all-time favourite heroine is Eve Dallas. And sometimes my favourite hero is Roarke. Sometimes it’s Tucker Longstreet. Sometimes it’s Jamie Frasier. Or Phineas T. Tucker.
Book Pushers: The Kowalski men: are they boxers, briefs, or commando kind of guys?
Shannon: Boxer briefs! Actually, all of my heroes have been boxer brief guys, with the exception of my two western heroes and my sole paranormal hero (who spent the entire novella naked because I couldn’t figure out how a raven was carrying clothes around with him for those awkward changing-into-human-form moments).
Book Pushers: Thank you so much Shannon for being here today!!
Shannon has graciously offered a $25 gift card to an ebookstore of the winners choice! Just leave a comment or question for Shannon below to be entered before Friday June 17th. Open Internationally. Winner will be announced on Saturday the 18th. Good luck!