by Jo McNally
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Maybe “perfect” is over-rated…
Between juggling two kids, two jobs, and a fixer-upper house, single mom Piper Montgomery is so busy she can hardly see straight. But when rugged biker Logan Taggert strolls into the B&B where she’s working, she can’t help but stare. He has bad boy written all over him. She’s promised her kids a “perfect Christmas” this year, and bad boys aren’t part of the plan. But how can she resist?
Once his grandmother is back on her feet, Logan can leave her Victorian B&B get back on the road. It’s where he belongs after all, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club biddies try to convince him otherwise. But there’s something about beautiful, spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if kids and commitment might be just what he needs after all.
As Christmas draws ever closer, so do Piper and Logan. Could these two opposites find all they want this Christmas is each other?
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m from Upstate New York, very near where the Rendezvous Falls books are set. My husband and I—along with our 96 lb. diva rescue dog, Tully—have been living in coastal North Carolina for about eight years now, but we’re in the process of moving back to the Northeast, where our families are…and where hurricanes are not.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Stealing Kisses in the Snow is the second book of my Rendezvous Falls series. It’s a story about families–those we’re born into and those that are created when people come together. Piper Montgomery is a widowed mother of two, determined to give her family a “perfect” Christmas. Rugged drifter Logan Taggart is not in her plans at all.
As for how it started, it began like all my stories—with a “what if”? What if a frazzled, guilt-ridden single mom met a laid-back oil rig worker only in town long enough to help his injured grandmother run her Victorian inn. And what if he’s a biker dude who’s not an alpha? What if he reads Hemingway? And I kept asking those questions until I had a story.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
I was probably 8 or 9 when I wrote my first book. It was about a girl and her horse, and I did my own illustrations! I always wanted to write, but life got in the way and I ended up in a corporate job and telling myself all kinds of excuses why I “couldn’t” write. Then I went to a Career Night event for my friend’s Brownie troop about ten years ago, and one of the girls looked me right in the eye and asked me if being a Director of Customer Service was what I’d dreamed of doing as a little girl. It was as if a lightning bolt hit me right then and there. I knew if I didn’t seriously try to follow my dream right then, I never would. Within a month or so, I was writing my first romance.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
I have a lovely office, but I get restless, so I like to move around. Sometimes I’m at my desk. Some days I curl up in one of our recliners with a pile of pillows. Some days I’m out on the back porch in the glider. The changes of scenery keep me fresh. As far as what I need…I generally write in silence with coffee, and edit with soft music and wine. I know that goes against the old “write drunk, edit sober” philosophy, but it works for me.
What do you like to read?
My reading preferences, like my music preferences, are all over the place. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing! Of course, I love reading romance—mostly contemporary romance, but I like to change it up with a historical or paranormal romance once in a while. I also enjoy reading non-fiction, particularly biographies and autobiographies. I think that sort of in-depth examination of a person’s thoughts and actions helps me develop my own characters more realistically.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
As I mentioned above, read. Read everything! In your genre. Out of your genre. Craft books. Be careful when reading books on writing, though. Not every suggestion will work for you specifically, and that’s okay. If it works for you to write every single day no matter what, then do that! If it doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t do it. If you love doing detailed outlines, do them! But if you’d rather slap Post-It notes on your office door like me and shuffle them around because you change your mind all the time? Then do that! It’s important to learn as much as you can from other writers, but pick and choose what works for you.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Stealing Kisses in the Snow is a “seasoned romance” with mature main characters. But it also features a bawdy senior book club. Each of my Rendezvous Falls books has the POV of one of the book club members, and in this book, it’s feisty, 80-year-old Iris. It was sometimes funny and often touching to view the world through her eyes, and I hope readers enjoy seeing her journey, as well as Logan and Piper’s romance.
“Okay, Lily. If you see that giant again, bring him to me so I can tell him to stop hanging around here. It’s bad for business.”
Lily giggled and dashed out of the kitchen before Piper could tell her they were leaving soon. She put away the rest of the dishes and tossed the dishrag into the bin to be washed. She was mopping up the last corner of the floor when she heard the kitchen door open again. Good—Lily hadn’t wandered far.
“I’m glad you’re back, sweetie. I’m almost done, so—”
“Momma! I found the giant! Isn’t he hoomongus?”
Piper turned and froze, clutching the mop handle tightly. Lily was standing in the doorway, holding hands with a stranger. Well over six feet tall, with straggly, wet hair hanging to his shoulders and a scruffy beard, the man was clothed entirely in black leather, including leather chaps on his long legs. He had the deepest-set eyes Piper had ever seen, shadowed under heavy, dark brows. With his size and overall menacing appearance, it was no wonder Lily thought he was a giant.
And he was holding her daughter’s tiny hand.
Piper bristled, her exhaustion gone in a flash. She’d gladly battle actual monsters to save her children, and big or not (and he was big), this was just a man. A man who was about to regret touching her little girl. She brandished the mop handle in front of her like a sword as she went toward him. “You let her go right this minute! And get out of here! I’m calling the police…” She fumbled to get her phone out of her back pocket while still aiming the mop at him. Her voice was fast approaching a scream. “You get the hell away from my daughter!”
Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she’s not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she’ll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.
STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow-jo-mcnally/1129992769
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Jo McNally will be awarding one print copy of SLOW DANCING AT SUNRISE by Jo McNally and 1 print copy of STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW by Jo McNally, shipping limited to North American (US and Canada) only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Thanks for hosting!
Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.
I enjoyed your interview and learning more about you and the book.