Monday, August 8, 2011
Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Tamara Leigh
Thanks for stopping by for another great week with another Southern-Style Meet & Greet! We had a wonderful time last week with Carla Stewart's interview, and let me just say one more time how appreciative I am to her for participating (thanks, Carla!).
We've got a fun interview planned for this week's Meet & Greet with none other than THE Tamara Leigh (if I'm not her #1 fan, I've gotta be darn close to the top)! But before we can get to all that, I'm super happy to announce the winner of last week's giveaway of Broken Wings by Carla Stewart. Thanks to random.org, the winner of that gorgeous book is...
Tracy, I'll be in touch with you soon to get your mailing address. :o) Congrats on your win!
And now, it's time for Tamara! Y'all just don't know how happy I am that she's here this week...y'all just don't know! :o) (Forgive me for repeating myself...I'm just deliriously happy about it!) The icing on the cake is that she happens to be a Southern girl. :o) Tamara first won me over when I read Splitting Harriet, then won me over further when I read Leaving Carolina, and then made me a goner when I read Stealing Adda. I hope if you're a newbie to Tamara's books that you'll find yourself a copy of one realllllllly soon, because they are some of the funniest, realistic, and just down-right-fun bunch of books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Stay tuned to the very end, and you may just find it easier than you thought to snag a copy of your own!
My desire to be a writer was apparent from elementary school onward. But once I got my hands on my first Harlequin (not to date myself, but they were clean back then), I knew I had to turn the desire into reality. Still, I never quite believed I would write anything publishable. Some surprise! And talk about a blessing!
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be and why? (This is, of course, assuming that writing IS your dream job!) :o)
Despite the enormous amount of paperwork and overwhelming number of clients, I enjoyed my years as a speech and language pathologist working with children. Not quite a “dream job” (Did I mention all that paperwork?), but it was lovely.
What genre do you most like to write?
Romance has always been the tug for me. Though I know there are bumps and jolts in every relationship and that “happily ever after” is an exaggeration, I strive to make the romance between my hero and heroine believable, which means the characters have to accept one another’s flaws and be willing to push through the difficult times to be a couple.
Do your own personal experiences, or those of family and friends, ever find their way into one your stories?
Stealing Adda, my first inspirational book, my heroine is a novelist of historical romances (ahem…that’s what I wrote for the secular market in the ‘90s). When Adda travels to New York following the publication of her first book, she is practically head over heels upon receiving a lunch invitation from her editor. Anticipating a posh restaurant and gourmet entrees she gets, instead, a dive and food so frightening she only orders soup in the hope that excessive heat will save her from food poisoning. Yep, that was me. And it was a very humbling experience.
I remember that "scene" in Stealing Adda...truly, one of the best books you've ever written, if I do say so myself. ;o)
What do you hope readers “take away” with them after they read one of your books?
I hope when readers finish one of my stories they “glow”, not only with the satisfaction of joining my hero and heroine on their discovery of one another, but in drawing nearer God through my characters’ encounters with Him.
Restless in Carolina was released July 19, 2011. Here’s a peek at what readers will find nestled between the covers:
Tree-huggin’, animal-lovin’ Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it’s been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it’s time she shed her widow’s weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family’s estate—a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won’t turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.
Enter J. C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn’t return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. Unfortunately, J. C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when she interrupts his meeting—until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight—in more ways than one. But there are things Bridget doesn’t know about J. C., and it could mean the end of everything she’s worked for … and break her heart.
Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?
I do have some ideas tickling my story generator and attempting to make it onto paper (and a couple have to some extent) but they’re not quite ready to go public.
Where can readers find you on the web?
I like to hang out at: www.tamaraleigh.com. Come see me!
What is your most favorite thing about the South?
There is so much I like about the South—its people, hospitality, and (YES!) food—but what stands out is its beauty. Of course, that might have something to do with having grown up in the Carson City, Nevada area. Nevada is beautiful in its own way—especially the Lake Tahoe way—but it’s hard to beat the lush greenery of the South.
You're right about that! There's nothing quite like driving through places like East Tennessee, and being surrounded by its beautiful scenery.
Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?
When I’m not fretting over calories, I like half and half. Otherwise, I have to go with unsweetened. :)
I suppose we'll let you get by with half-and-half. My dad takes it that way, too, so you're in good company. :o)
BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef?
They’re both so good, but pork sure is tender.
There's nothing as good as a yummy, pulled pork sandwich!
Potluck dinner or restaurant dinner?
That depends on my mood and the restaurant, but you can never go wrong with potluck—tasty down home dishes and fabulous fellowship.
Summer or Winter? (There are only two seasons down here…really.)
Hard one. I don’t like either extreme, but I have to say winter since it’s mild in the Nashville area, especially compared to Northern Nevada winters. The humidity of Nashville summers can be hard to handle. Fortunately, we do get a decent helping of spring and fall in our corner of the South, so it’s not too bad.
I'm jealous of your spring and fall seasons because we're fortunate to get about 2 weeks of each, if we're lucky. Unfortunately, most years it just goes straight to hot or straight to cold. :o(
Country gal or city gal?
Country gal. The convenience and variety of a city is nice, but I prefer the pace of living in the country.
You, you all, or y’all?
“You” though “Y’all” does trip onto my tongue from time to time.
Nothin' wrong with that!
Well, if no one else had fun this week, I know I sure did! I can't wait to crack open this new book, and discover a new favorite by Tamara...she hasn't disappointed me yet. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tamara, for fulfilling a wish of mine to get to know you better this week...I've had a blast!
Remember that surprise I told you about earlier? You could be fortunate enough to win one of Tamara's books for yourself! She's giving away a copy of her brand new release, Restless in Carolina, to one person who lives in the US. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with your email address before Sunday, August 14th. No email address, no entry. And as always, the winner will be announced at next week's Meet & Greet.
Thanks for stopping by my front porch this week! But grab a glass of sweet tea and visit a spell before you go. :o)