Please help me welcome Stephanie Queen to the blog today!
Tell us a little about yourself.
SQ: I’ll divulge a secret, Krystal—I’m not really a royal. Although I do indulge in occasional crown-wearing. Also, I love to wear heels and prefer my skirts above the knee. My favorite pajamas are fleece and I adore Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia. I cook everything with butter now. (No, I’m not a heart attach waiting to happen!)
Did you always want to be an author?
SQ: Only since the second grade.
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
SQ: How much time do you have? Really, maybe instead I should point out the one thing I don’t like. I sometimes get tired of my own company after being trapped (inside my head) in my house by myself for hours, days, weeks, writing away on the computer with only my cat, Kitty to talk to. (No, she doesn’t talk back. Geesh, what do you think I am, crazy?) (Yes, I should probably get out more.)
Tell us a little about your book.
SQ: Here’s the SNAP on THE HOT SHOTS :
Would you jump off the USS Constitution into Boston Harbor with a perfect stranger? You would if that stranger was hot shot Scotland Yard detective Chauncey Miller, the usual tall-dark-handsome type, especially since he has an assassin with a score to settle who just caught up with him…
Decorator Sophia “Pixie” Alano’s career gets side-tracked from the moment she meets hot shot Chauncey. He's on the run from a madman terrorist out for revenge when Sophia ends up targeted too. Now he has to protect his spitfire of a Pixie while they escape to London to outwit the madman. But once Chauncey catches their would-be killer, how can they go back to the lives they had before?
THE HOT SHOTS
Decorator Sophia Alano’s career gets side-tracked from the moment she meets hot shot Scotland Yard detective Chauncey Miller. On the run in Boston, Chauncey must now protect this spitfire Pixie from the madman out for revenge. But once he catches their would-be killer, how does he hold onto his Pixie decorator?
Chapter One Excerpt:
“I have a favor to ask,” Grace said from behind her desk, pencil in hand and dimple in place. “I need you to pick up David’s latest recruit from Scotland Yard at Logan Airport today and keep him busy for the day. Show him around.”
Sophia couldn’t stop her usual sarcasm in spite of the fact that Grace was her boss as well as her best friend. This so-called favor made no sense. Even for Grace.
“Are you serious?” Sophia planted her hands on her hips. “Let me make sure I understand you--You’re asking me to babysit one of David’s Scotland Yard hot shots on the eve of my possible career breakthrough?”
Grace nodded. Her big blue eyes were wide and honest. Something was up.
“That’s crazy talk. Tomorrow’s the shoot for the audition tape.” Sophia knew that Grace knew this since Grace helped set it up for her, but she felt it was worth mentioning the obvious.
“Yes. I know.” Grace smiled then looked back down at her drawing. “And a distraction is exactly what you need to keep your nerves at bay.”
“What? My nerves are fine.” If her dam voice hadn’t squeaked at that moment, she’d have been more convincing. Something was definitely up. And Sophia would never admit it to Grace, but she did feel a bit edgy--if edginess included nausea, headaches and sleeplessness.
“I know you.” Grace paused and gave her the serious-yet-loving older-sister type look that she mostly put up with. “This will be good for you and…and I’d really appreciate it.”
Grace was playing dirty pool now with that appreciation bit, but Sophia still didn’t buy it.
“And what if I didn’t have time today? Were you going to tear me away from my project?”
“Actually, yes. I wasn’t going to mention it, but some of the men were complaining about your presence at the set and asked me to have you back off just a smidge.” Grace scrunched her brow. “But don’t worry, honey, they think you’re wonderful. It’s just lately...”
“Great. That’s great.” Her hands flew into the air. “I got painters and paperhangers and carpenters talking to my boss behind my back.” This was not good. She plunked herself on the edge of Grace’s desk and folded her arms. She tried staring at the stack of fabric samples on the other side of the office so Grace wouldn’t notice if a tear slipped out. Because, damn it, she might be on the brink of crying.
Grace picked up the box of tissues and handed it to her. “You’ll be alright, Pixie honey. This is the perfect way to get your mind off everything to do with decorating and the design show audition filming and TV cameras. I’m asking for a one-day one-shot favor.”
Grace’s voice sounded a little too sweet, even for her, and “Pixie honey” or no “Pixie honey”, that was cause for suspicion. She blew her nose. Okay, so maybe she needed a break, but she wasn’t convinced that playing tour guide to some British guy fresh off the boat...or rather airline--was the way to go.
“I’m saving up my vacation time and I don’t think you have the authority to assign me to pick up some random guy at Logan Airport and show him around town while I’m on the clock. We’re in the decorating business.” She remained seated on the edge of Grace’s desk, tossed the balled-up tissue in a basket halfway across the small office and re-folded her arms. “Besides it doesn’t even sound safe.” She blew the blunt-cut bangs off her forehead for emphasis.
Grace looked at her with that smile and said, “He’s from Scotland Yard, honey. Of course it’s safe. It’ll be fun. I don’t know what you’re worried about.” Her face brightened and she added, “You don’t have to use vacation time. Consider it a client recruitment assignment.” Grace went back to the sketch she’d been working on.
Sophia looked at her best friend and boss with a suspicious squint. What it sounded like to her was another one of Grace’s blind date set-ups in disguise.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
SQ: Guess it was a long road for me now that you ask. I started writing my first book in about second grade, but I never finished one until I was just out of college. (I’ve improved my writing speed since then.)
Where do you get your inspiration?
SQ: The other day I got inspired when I went to the local middle school gym to vote. Happens every time I go out. It’s a curse. No matter where I go there’s a story lurking. I’m putting off an overdue trip to the hardware store because who knows what will happen there. That’s why I don’t go out much. Every time I venture out I’m struck with more inspirations for stories to write and I already have enough to last me until I’m 107. We’re starting to push the longevity envelope here.
Or, maybe I’m going to have to kick up my writing speed another few notches. Hmm…
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
SQ: I’m a Hybrid, just like the new fashionable cars. I make the most of both gasoline and electric energy—err—I mean, I do some plotting and some pantsing.
What was your favorite part of THE HOT SHOTS?
SQ: I have to admit it was the jump into Boston Harbor. (Did I mention I’m a big James. James Bond. Fan?). I loved the crazy notion even if it was a logistical challenge—and a very protracted extension of the suspension of disbelief.
Rate your story in terms steaminess?
SQ: It’s about 2.5 tamales out of 5. It’s got some spice, but it’s edible.
Do you have another book in the works?
SQ: Wouldn’t be without one. I’d be naked as a writer!
THE HOT SHOTS is book 2 of the Scotland Yard Exchange Program Series (THE THROWBACKS was book one and is available now), so I’m working on book 3 of the series featuring Joe Allario from the Hot Shots. He’s sent to London to visit the Queen—err, I mean for a special assignment on the royal protection detail.
What have you learned about the business?
SQ: I learned that I LOVE this business! Start to finish, everything about it! ESPECIALLY the readers! Kisses to you all! (Picture a Queenly wave here, except I’m throwing kisses.)
Seriously, I get some of the most wonderful notes from readers—and I really love it when I meet a fan in person! I’ve been known to reward my fans—sign up for my newsletter if you don’t believe me.
Boxers or Briefs?
SQ: I don’t usually wear either, but if I had to—I’d try Boxers. Pink ones.
Pizza or hamburger?
SQ: Pizza – I’m Grace Marie DelVecchio’s granddaughter all the way!
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?
SQ: Must I choose? Okay. For now, I’ll choose beer--to go with the above-noted pizza.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be? Would you write or read there, or do something else?
SQ: It would be less of a place and more of an occasion—somewhere—anywhere—with all my family and best friends. Maybe I’ll hire out a cruise ship and invite them all along…
As for the writing and reading—no—I can do that anywhere anytime.
Fabulous! Thank you so much for being my guest today! Readers, be sure to leave a comment and email addy for Stephanie. She will draw a name for her first book
The Throwbacks, Book 1 of the Scotland Yard Exchange Program.
About the Author:
Stephanie Queen lives in bucolic New Hampshire where writing happy, snappy romances takes most of her time. However you can also find her watching UConn football and basketball games whenever they’re on TV, and sometimes even in person. Right now, she’s busy writing her next book in the Scotland Yard Exchange Program Series. Visit her website to learn more at StephanieQueen.com or connect with Stephanie Queen on Twitter or Facebook.