Wednesday, July 17, 2019

#NewRelease and #AuthorInterview - Luanna Stewart

Welcome to my blog, Luanna. Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat!
Author Interview

* What process did you go through when you picked your characters’ names for Love Proof?

Ordinarily, character names just pop into my head and that’s it. No going back. I heard an interesting name on TV, a contestant on a British game show, and I used that name for a hero. (Love & Redemption

The naming process was a bit of a challenge for this latest book. The series was developed by my publisher and lots of names were already used or spoken for. My original name for the heroine in Love Proof was too similar to a name in use by another author so I had to come up with a different one. That was hard. My character was that name. I consulted baby name websites, fussed and fumed, and finally found Fiona (apologies for the alliteration, hehe). Now, of course, she couldn’t have been anyone else but Fiona. 

* What do you prefer:  ebook or print? Why?

They’re both great as far as I’m concerned. I read an ebook in bed at night so that a reading light won’t disturb my DH. I seldom remain awake long enough to read more than a few pages at a time, unfortunately, so those books last for weeks. My daytime reading is usually a paperback and I can polish one off in a few days. My problem is that I spend so much time writing my own books I don’t have nearly enough time to read through my TBR pile, which never seems to shrink.

* What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter?

My first acceptance letter came from Wild Rose Press and when it landed in my inbox I danced around the kitchen. Then I drove to the store and purchased a bottle of Prosecco to toast my success with DH when he got home from work. And then I nervously awaited the edits since I had no idea what to expect. My newest book is my sixth publication with WRP.

* All writers suffer from writer’s block at least once in their career. What’s your go-to cure?

When I get stuck (a better word than blocked, in my opinion) I step away from the scene I’m struggling with and look at the big picture. Sometimes the easiest way to move forward is to change the Point of View (POV) character. Maybe the hero should be in charge of that scene instead of the heroine. 

Other times the plot might have veered to the left instead of to the right. I’ll backtrack a few scenes or even a few chapters to make sure I’m on the correct path. 

Occasionally I’m stuck because I don’t know my characters well enough and so I can’t understand why the heroine up and quit her job at the end of Chapter 10 when she’s the sole supporter of her kid sister. What was she thinking?!?! I clearly need to delve deeper into her character and figure out what makes her tick.  To help with that exercise I use several sections in Story Genius by Lisa Cron as writing prompts. A few days of that and I’m raring to go. Another tool I use and reference throughout the writing is a goal, motivation and conflict grid. (Debra Dixon wrote the book.) If I don’t know the GMC for each main character in every scene, then I’ll get stuck, guaranteed.

* Sometimes the romance genre gets a bad reputation for being cliché and full of Fabios. How do you respond to that?

Whenever anyone raises an eyebrow at the romance genre, the cliché and cookie-cutter aspect in particular, I answer by pointing out that it is genre fiction, as are thrillers and mysteries. They all need to meet a set of reader expectations. A thriller must have a bad guy, there’s usually a race against the clock, and the hero/heroine will save the day in the nick of time. A mystery must have a dead body, a sleuth to find the clues, and the killer brought to justice. A thriller in which the heroine fails to catch the killer and instead opens a knitting shop is not going to sell. Equally valid is a reader of romance expecting two people (usually) to meet, go through a crisis of some sort, and fall in love by the end of the book (usually, although a happy-for-now ending is fine, too). 

* Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

My favourite way to relax is to head to the kitchen and bake bread or a cake, or whip up a curry or a pizza. I’m forever trying new recipes and I enjoy fiddling with and adjusting ingredients. My go-to cuisine is probably Italian – pasta! cheese! sausage! My next favourite is Indian, but not too spicy. I find that if it’s too hot I can’t enjoy all the exotic spices. I make bread every few days, a basic sandwich loaf, and we always have cake or cookies or squares for dessert. Always. Every night. We’ll have several desserts to choose from on special occasions.

Lest you think all I do is eat, I also enjoy rug hooking, knitting, counted cross-stitch, and playing the piano. The summer months are filled with bike rides, kayaking, and puttering in the garden. 

Title:  Love Proof
Author:  Luanna Stewart 
Genre:  contemporary romance
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press
Publish date:  June 26, 2019 


Unemployed photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn. Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice, has more to offer than tasty cookies.

Fiona MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven.

Between running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she's pretty sure she's falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for forgiveness?


“I remember those days.” She pushed the calculator to the side, too tired to worry about planning the week’s baking schedule. “Why’d you study journalism?
“Truth is important to me. I was tired of all the lies in government, at every level. I wanted to change that. Ultimately make the world a better place. Easy peasy, right?” His lips quirked and he shook his head.
“That’s why I decided to be a baker. Brighten someone’s day with a special treat.”
He scooted his chair closer and pointed at the column of numbers on the page. “You want me to do the rest?” His arm, bare to the bicep, lightly tanned, dusted with blond hair, a little lighter than on his head, rested less than an inch from her own spindly pale arm. Not spindly compared to other women, hefting bags of flour and moving trays of baked goods did take some muscle power. But spindly compared to his manly toned muscles flexing under skin that she’d bet her last jar of sprinkles was smooth and warm. She clenched her hand.
No touching allowed.
“We have cupcakes to frost.” She bounded from the chair and rushed into the kitchen.
Holy moly, the guy oozed sex. In a good way. A very good way. She pulled a clean apron off the shelf and cinched it around her waist. An extra layer of armor between her and temptation in the form of Raynor. The seeker of truth. The man whose mission in life was to expose lies. The reporter who thought liars were not decent human beings.

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Author Bio

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. At the tender age of twelve she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, after which all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna spends her days writing sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s either in her kitchen baking something delicious, or protecting her garden from the chickens. She lives in Nova Scotia with her incredibly patient husband and two spoiled cats.

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