There are a lot of excited Book Pushers today, mainly because we were super lucky to snag and interview with the fabulous Victoria Dahl! Victoria is the author of some of our favorite contemporary and historical romance books such as: the Tumble Creek Trilogy, the Huntington Trilogy, and even had a few short stories in anthologies we’ve loved.
Today, Victoria is here to talk to us a bit about her newest series and release, GOOD GIRLS DON’T. This is the first book in her new HQN series about the Donovan Brothers Brewery.
Victoria, Welcome to The Book Pushers!
Thank you for inviting me! I’m so happy to be here!
The Book Pushers: Tell us a little more about the Donovan Brothers Brewery series and GOOD GIRLS DON’T.
Victoria: This series is about the Donovan siblings, Tessa, Jamie and Eric. Their parents died when Tessa and Jamie were still young, so Eric moved back home to take care of them, and now they all run the family brewery together. They are a close-knit family, but long-standing tensions and lies cause a lot of chaos between them. Not to mention a little hilarity.
Good Girls Don’t stars Tessa, the baby of the family…. Police Detective Luke Asher isn’t about to get involved with an innocent girl with two protective older brothers, but Tessa isn’t as innocent as she seems. In fact, she has some creative ideas about just what she’d like to do with a dark and dangerous police detective. She just needs to hide her personal life from her brothers, solve a burgeoning family crisis, and keep the brewery running while seducing a man who’s trying not to be seduced. Just another day in the life of Tessa Donovan.
The Book Pushers: How many books do you have planned for the Donovan Brothers Brewery series?
Victoria: There are three full books: Good Girls Don’t, Bad Boys Do (October) and Real Men Will (November). There’s also a prequel novella called “Just One Taste” in the Guy Next Door anthology!
Victoria: I take my work seriously, so I did not skimp on the research. Not at all. Luckily there are lots of great microbreweries in the West where I live. Right now my favorite brews are Chasing Tail Golden Ale by Squatters Brew Pub and Wasatch’s Evolution Amber Ale. I also love any kind of hefeweizen I can get my hands on. And this year I even discovered that I like some porters. That’s real dedication to my craft!
The Book Pushers: What other projects to you have in the works right now?
Victoria: Now that I’m done with the Donovan series, I’ve started work on a new three-book contemporary series with HQN. It’s set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and will feature genuine cowboys and kick-ass chicks.
The Book Pushers: COWBOYS?? *melt* You write both contemporary and historical romances. Between the two, do you prefer to write in one of the other?
Victoria: I don’t really have a favorite genre to write. It’s nice to switch between the two because it’s a bit like cleansing the palate. After the formal language of an historical, it’s nice to settle into a contemporary. And after a contemporary, it’s fun to get back to the lushness of the Victorian setting.
The Book Pushers: What do you love and hate the most about writing in the contemporary genre? What about historical?
Victoria: Contemporaries flow a little faster because the dialogue and situations are familiar and easy to imagine. It’s a lot like a conversation with friends. But with historicals, it’s soooooo easy to come up with conflict. All I need is one stubborn/evil/uptight parent and all the heroine’s choices are taken away. Or one mistake and hero has to choose between marriage and destroying his honor!
I don’t think there’s anything I hate about either, honestly. Hmm. In historicals, it’s frustrating to realize you’ve gotten something wrong. Used some word that it would never have occurred to you wasn’t in use at the time. Sideburns, for example, was a post-Civil-War term, but if you don’t know that, you just don’t know it. So that can be a little scary.
The Book Pushers: You create heroines who are not afraid to explore and enjoy their sexuality. When you started writing, did you see that missing in the romance genre?
Victoria: I’ll tell you a secret that I don’t share with many other people: I’m not a perfect woman. In fact, I’m not very good romance heroine material at all. I’m not selfless. I don’t keep a spotless house. I curse. (A lot.) I’m not the least bit interested in sacrificing my happiness for another’s. And on very rare occasions–when the moon is full and the planets align—I’ve been known to be very dirty. (Ok, I haven’t been innocent in thought or intention for a long while now.) But I still deserve a happy ending. And so do my heroines.
For me, a happy ending involves fulfilling, guilt-free sex! Wait, that didn’t sound right. Um…What I mean is that I think all women deserve a fulfilling and fun sex life, free of guilt, whatever their relationship status is. That used to be a bit of a rarity for romance heroines. Maybe she was a virgin before she met the hero. Certainly, she’d never had a mind-blowing orgasm. And masturbation? Oh, I don’t think so, sister. That area is reserved for the hero’s magic peen. And even after she meets the hero, would a romance heroine decide to use him for sex and leave the love out of it? Ten years ago, not so much. But, yea, things are changing! I can give my heroines an amazing sex life, before (if the story calls for it), during, and after the book. So I do. And I’ll never stop.
Victoria: I don’t understand the question. I’m an angel, ergo I have a halo. The proof is in the pictures.
As for the story behind it? One night I met a fallen angel named Junior. Yadda, yadda, yadda…the next morning he let me keep the halo. There’s nothing more officially angelic than that.
The Book Pushers: What gave you the idea to write the naughty novella that Molly Jennings, your heroine in TALK ME DOWN, was working on throughout your novel? And will there be any more of those naughty novels in future?
Victoria: That was my editor’s idea! After I sold Talk Me Down to Tara Parsons, she called me up and asked if I’d be interested in writing an erotic short story under Molly’s name. Um…YES! We bounced a few ideas around before I finally realized I should write the story Molly had been working on during the book. Secretly dirty sheriff? Heck, yeah! I’d never written an erotic story before, and it was a blast. I really loved it.
As for another, I’m just starting to work on a new idea. It’ll probably be out next year!
The Book Pushers: Do you read Romance yourself? What other genre do you read in your spare time?
Victoria: Absolutely! Ten years ago, I probably read 90% romance and 10% horror/suspense. These days, I try not to read romance when I’m actively writing, so I read a mix of romance, horror, urban fantasy, non-fiction, thrillers and the occasional literary title. I never have enough time for reading, though, and I meet more amazing writers every year. It’s frustrating not to have a few more reading hours in every day.
The Book Pushers: Who is your sexy dream hero? They can be fictional or real.
Victoria: You want me to pick ONE sexy dream hero? Wow. Just one? Okay, I’m going to narrow this down to a choice of my own heroes just to keep my head from exploding. Hmm. I think I’ll go with Ben Lawson from Talk Me Down. Or…maybe Luke Asher from Good Girls Don’t. Wait! Jude Bertrand from A Little Bit Wild! Oops. Sorry. I’ll clean up this exploding head mess before I go. I’m not good at this game.
Thank you so much for the fun questions!
Thank you for being here today Victoria!! Now for the readers: Victoria has offered up a signed copy of Good Girls Don’t along with some Donovan Brothers Brewery swag! Just leave a question or comment for Victoria to enter. Contest is open internationally and ends September 5th. Good Luck!