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, the winner of that gorgeous book is...

Tracy (countrysunset40@...)

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!

Welcome, Tamara!

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

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?

It does happen, though often unconsciously. However, on one occasion I made the conscious decision to include a personal experience of my own. In 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.

What is your latest book release?

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: 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)


  1. Thanks for the interview. I have to say that the cover of Restless in Carolina caught my eye when I saw it on the book shelf at work. This sounds fun!! I'd love to have your but my name int he hat for a chance to win this book!!


    Nora St.Laurent
    norafindinghope (at)

  2. Definitely put my name in. The cover is very eye catching. Wonderful interview. Donna

  3. Hi all! I think the cover is my best yet. It really catches the eye. Thank you for the fun interview, Christy!

  4. i gotta say i like a country pace too. less stress!! thanks for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  5. Awww.....Tamara just got my respect with saying she was a speech therapist. My little one has one and he just loves her. It really takes a special person!!

    Don't enter me. I already have this one. :)

  6. Another gret interview. Great job Christy and Tamara!! I have to say I am country through and through too so I can relate.

    Please enter me for this giveaway.

    countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

    Have a wonderful day!

  7. What a fun interview, thanks Christy and Tamara! This book looks great and I would love the opportunity to win this book. Thanks so much! Cheryl
    Ihhcheryl@comcast(dot) net

  8. I haven't read any of Tamera's books yet and I would love to try her latest b/c I keep seeing such great reviews.

    Thanks for the opportunity, and great interview ladies!


  9. I really enjoyed Splitting Harriet! Put me in the drawing, please -- love that cover!

    Great interview, Christy -- love your comments --and your enthusiasm!

  10. Thanks for the interview. I think that I will stay in the Pacific Northwest where we know that there is a real fall, winter, spring, summer. That is rain, rain, rain and rain. :)

    I have not read any of Tamar's books, but it sounds like a fun book to read. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Debbie Clark

  11. I am currently reading "Faking Grace" and I am really enjoying it!


  12. I would love to win this book. Thanks for a great interview.

  13. sorry I forgot to leave my email!

    Loved your interview Q (&A!)

  14. Your interview style is terrific. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. I really like her books too. thx for a great interview and contest!

  16. Loved this interview, hehe! What a friendly author, and I have heard in different forums that this novel is a very good read. Please enter me for your contest! Rae, Best O' Books

  17. I am enjoying Tamara's Carolina series and can't wait to read Bridget's story. Please add me!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  18. Restless in Carolina is in my Amazon cart for when I have some extra money. I would love to win a copy! I love her books.

  19. I would love to win a copy of this book;)

  20. kristiannhunt (at) gmail (dot) com

    Would love to win this book! I've enjoyed some of her other books.

  21. I enjoyed this interview, thanks! =)
    and I would love to win a copy of this book!

    readinginks (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. Oooh, I'm in Middle TN! Such fun knowing we're that close! Thank you for the interview (and the opportunity to win this fabulous sounding book)

    amanda38401 at gmail dot com

  23. This book sounds really good. Would love to read it. I'm from the south too - Mississippi


  24. Awesome interview! I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for this giveaway! :)

  25. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. I would love to win this!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

    I'm currently having a giveaway on my blog Christian Bookshelf Reviews!

  27. This book has a very interesting story line with a very young widow. I would enjoy having the book for our church library.
    Love the author interviews and about new books. Thanks Christy,

  28. Would love to win a copy... totally broke or I'd have bought myself one by now ;) :)

  29. I enjoyed reading your interview
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  30. would love to win!

  31. Since I live in NC, love anything with the word
    "Carolina" in the title!


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)