Friday, January 31, 2014

Melt with You Blog Tour. Amber's Interview with author Jessie Evans.


Today we are spotlighting Jessie Evans. I was introduced to Jessie’s work by the ultra-fabulous Lauren Blakely a few months ago. Lauren thought I might like Jessie’s books in her “Always a Bridesmaids” series and she was so spot on. After exchanging a few emails Jessie and I discovered we actually grew up within 30 minutes of each other!! She sent me a couple of arcs and I fell in love with her sweet and getting sexier stories!! So getting to do this interview and share a little bit of her with y’all is a real treat that I hope y’all enjoy as much as I did doing it! So without further ado….
Amber: What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with books?
Jessie:  "Little Women." I checked it out from the library the summer before second grade and read it four times in a row. I was IN LOVE with all the sisters. I think that's part of the reason I still like writing about close families. That first experience with a tight literary family made a big impression.

A:  When did you decide to start writing and what was the first story about?
J:  I wrote my first romance when I was still in elementary school (I was a fan as soon as I snagged my first Jude Deveraux from my mother's book shelf). It was a medieval historical and I think I got up to chapter six before I quit. I started seriously pursuing a career as a romance writer in 2005 and was published under a different pen name nine months after I finished my first manuscript.

A:   What inspires you?
J:  Everything! The news, family, friends, music, movies, long walks, driving thirty minutes to the good grocery store in the big city (I live in a tiny river town). I don't find it hard to get inspired.

A:   Since we both grew up in the same part of Arkansas, what do you miss about home?
J:  I miss being close to family and friends and being able to be there to hold all the new babies. Seeing pictures on Facebook just isn't the same. I do not miss the mosquitoes big enough to carry a girl away, however. Northeast Arkansas can keep those suckers.

A:  How did you create Summerville? Did being a Southern girl at heart play a part? (I have to say I love stories set in the South!)
J:  Being from the South definitely played a part--I loved growing up in a part of the country where it's normal to smile and say howdy to strangers at the store--but in Summerville I could create a kinder, gentler small town, one where people care about each other and work together and nothing REALLY bad happens.

A:   Do you listen to music while you write? And if so have there been songs that have inspired story ideas?
J:  I don't often listen to music while writing the Summerville books--I write them too quickly and music tends to slow me down/distract me--but I did listen to "Would You Go With Me" by Josh Turner now and then while writing the Fire and Icing series. I love his deep voice and that song is so sweet.

A:  Cooking has been a theme in both the 'Always a Bridesmaid' and 'Fire and Icing' series; do you like to cook? And if so what's your favorite dish?
J:  I like to cook, but I LOVE to eat. I'm a foodie and love trying new foods. My favorite things to cook, however, are vegetables. A little weird, I know, but I love experimenting with new ways to make veggies tasty. I've been stir frying shredded brussel sprouts with Sriracha sauce recently, and it is so freaking tasty. I could eat a bucket of those sprouts. (That sounds so yummy and I usually don’t like spicy!)

A:  Do you have a favorite couple from the two series?
J:  Aw man, that's hard. I love them all the same while I'm writing them, but I think Aria and Nash (from KEEPING YOU) and Jamison and Maddie (from SWEET TO YOU) are tied for my favorite couple. I love a story where a single mom finds her perfect partner (Aria), but I also loved seeing Maddie get a chance at love after her divorce. I just love second chances of all kinds. Those are hopeful stories to write.

A:  What's the last book you read?
J:  I'm reading to judge a contest right now so I can't really say the LAST book I read, but I recently read THE THRILL OF IT by Lauren Blakely and it was awesome. I highly recommend it.

A:  Who's your favorite author?
J:  I can't pick just one. There have been too many authors who have touched me at different points in my life. It would feel like a betrayal to pick just one.

A:  What's your favorite drink?
J:  A tie between red wine and coffee (though if I had to pick one beverage for life it would be water, of course. I drink a ton of water.)

A:  What's next after the 'Fire and Icing' series ends?
J:  I'm not sure! I'm torn between two ideas, but I know I'm going to step away from Summerville for a bit. I think I'll have to ask my soon-to-form street team what they'd like to read most and go from there.

A:  Last question. Do you have a favorite book boyfriend?
J:  I actually love Peeta from "The Hunger Games." I love that he was man enough to know when Katniss needed to take the lead. I think that a man having that much faith in his lady/confidence in himself is pretty hot.
Thanks so much for the interview!
Check out the Always a Bridesmaids books out now which I reviewed a previously and Melt with You and Hot for You (books 1 & 2), from Jessie’s new Fire and Icing series are also out!! Check below for an excerpt from Melt with You!

A Summerville Novel #6
Fire and Icing Book 1

Some fires never burn out…

After ten years as America’s sweetest celebrity chef, Naomi Whitehouse is enjoying life out of the spotlight, back in her hometown of Summerville, Georgia. She’s opening a pastry shop with her sister, housesitting for her snowbird parents, and reconnecting with her roots. Life is good until she runs into her high school sweetheart, Jake Hansen, a sexy firefighter who gives her a reception chilly enough to freeze a forest fire. If Naomi wants her homecoming to remain all cupcakes and sugar cookies, she’ll have to win Jake over. But how can she earn his forgiveness when he won’t even speak to her?

When the girl who broke his heart buys a month of dates at the firefighter’s Hunk-for-a-Month fundraiser auction, only honor keeps widower Jake Hansen from backing out of the commitment. He won’t let the firehouse down, even if it means enduring a torturous month with Naomi Whitehouse. And Jake knows being close to Naomi again will be torture. Even after all these years, she still gets to him…not that he intends to let her know it. He’ll be civil, honor his obligation, and with any luck Naomi will tire of playing small-town pastry chef and Jake will never see her again.

But as the month passes, Jake and Naomi discover some fires never burn out. Will the heat between them be enough to melt away the pain of past mistakes, or is their second chance doomed from the start?





She was getting ready to order Maddie to have fun without her and make a run for the exit, when the curtain parted again and Naomi lost the ability to form words.

There, wearing nothing but black jeans and a black Summerville Fire Department baseball cap, was the man she’d come for. Naomi’s breath caught and a horrible, excited-but-miserable feeling filled her chest. It was same feeling that had overwhelmed her when Jake had turned and walked away from her at the store yesterday, but this time, he didn’t know she was watching. Naomi was able to let her eyes linger, taking in every inch of the stunning man her high school sweetheart had become.

Jake didn’t strut down the catwalk like his little brother; he owned the stage like the captain of a ship, like a Roman commander leading his army into battle. With his tanned, olive skin, broad shoulders, chiseled chest, and deliciously narrow hips, Jake was every bit the beefcake his little brother was. But that wasn’t what made the crowd suck in their breath in appreciation as he reached the end of the catwalk and took off his hat, his tousled brown hair flopping over one eye as he bowed to the ladies on either side of the stage.

No, it wasn’t his muscles, the strong planes of his face, or those dark brown eyes that glittered with intelligence that made it impossible for Naomi to take her eyes off of him. It was the way he held himself, the way he moved like a creature that was completely at home in its body. Jake was a man who walked, talked, and prowled the catwalk with innate confidence. He knew who he was and where he was going. He was a man who worked hard and loved harder, who believed in the value of a man’s word, and never gave a woman a second chance to make a bad impression.
Buy Links:
Interview with author Jessie Evans:
About the Author
Jessie Evans gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sassy, Southern romances she always wanted to read.
She's married to the man of her dreams, and together they're raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a tree house in the boonies. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more. 

When she's not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and wandering the woods, glass of wine and camera both in hand, on the lookout for Bigfoot.

A southern girl, born and bred, Jessie loves writing Southern romances with just the right amount of sizzle, and hopes you'll enjoy her stories set in the fictional town of Summerville, Georgia. 
Connect with Jessie