Monday, January 17, 2011
Jane Beckenham Is Here!
Hi, Jane. Thanks for coming to the blog. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi Elaine… well, I wear a lot of hats- like most women LOL – Wife (of 27 years), mother to 2 daughters, writer, … the list could go on. Nursemaid, housekeeper, pet feeder – you get the idea. The first 3 of course are the dearest to my heart. I began writing 11 years ago after meeting a writer in a decorating chat room of all places (I’m a decorating fanatic!) and she encouraged me to give it a go. I sent her some pages I wrote that day and she responded so positively, I’ve really never stopped. I write contemporary romance, though have also been published in historical and time travel/historical/romance. I live in New Zealand about 5 minutes walk from the beach which is great at the moment because we’re having a wonderful summer (yes don’t forget the reverse seasons down this way).
I love decorating too. Right now I'm trying to decide what to do to my kitchen. How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
Um…people always ask this when the read the sex scenes LOL – my response is – I wish! But in truth I think there is the core essence of me in some ways. The ever hopeful person, the believer in love conquers all and can fix everything. In my recent request to Silhouette Desire (fingers crossed) my heroine has lost a baby at 7 months, having to go through delivery knowing the baby was already dead. While I’ve never gone through that dreadful scenario, I have been through years of infertility, and the stress of inter-country adoption (our children are from Russia), so the angst and heartbreak in Blackmailed By Desire, certainly comes from my heart. But I also think in some of my other books – Desperately Seeking Santa and To Kiss an Angel, the quirky fun side of me comes out (others call me nuts!)
Gosh, I just realized this could make readers think I need a straight-jacket!
Congratulations on finding your children. I'm betting they're the joy of your life. And good luck with the submission. Most people think authors live glamorous lives. Describe a typical writing day.
Lately – horrendously crazy. I’ve been in revision mode for the requested Sil. Desire book, and working 10-15 hour days. They tell me there’s a thing called sleep – haven’t found that yet! I walk every day at 7 a.m. with a friend, and then once the general home duties (yes housework!) is done, I then hit the computer, doing mostly emails, blogs, promo for the 1st hour then into writing. I tend to write mon-fri then try and have the weekend off, but since Christmas, I’ve worked every day with those revisions and editing, so I haven’t actually had a life. Resolution for 2011 – get a life! But seriously, I love writing, couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Neither can I. When writing a new book, how do you decide on a theme, genre, or topic?
I tend to come up with titles, character names, general setting, or 1st major event and go from there. I love doing character interviews and that usually leads to fabulous backstory information.
I love character interviews. I've done several for my own characters. If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
Sandra Hill because I love her time travels, and her fabulous quirky humor and strong chracterisation. And I’ve already met the other – Sophia James – she’s actually a very good friend, she writes wonderful Historicals for Mills and Boon.
Lucky you! I've never met my favorite author. Would you share your links with us?
I’m so not good at this- very techno challenged.
My web site is – www.janebeckenham.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/romanceauthor
Facebook – You can find me (hopefully) under Jane Beckenham
We’d love to read an excerpt from one of your books. Don’t forget to leave us a buy link.
Here’s an excerpt from He’s the One
by Jane Beckenham
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The moment Cade turned, everything changed.
Cade Harper. Bad boy. One sexy guy.
Taylor’s voice stalled in her throat, and she knew, when his smiling eyes captured hers, she was in way over her head.
Cade wiped his hands on a cloth and again Taylor’s gaze followed. Long, lean fingers. Fingers that would touch… Oh, boy!
He smiled. “You wanted to see me?”
She nodded and felt herself drowning in that smile. His dark eyes twinkled, a swirl of gold and chocolate brown. Just like Hershey Kisses. Kisses! Yep. She was definitely going under.
“Lady, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve got a bar to run,” he said, grabbing a knife and cutting a lemon into wafer-thin slices.
Taylor shook herself. Okay. Come on. Just say it. “I’ve got a favor to ask.”
“Ask away then,” he said, not looking up.
Taylor burned and eyed the milling crowd. “Actually, it’s a proposition.”
He definitely looked then, and his gaze focused on her. He placed the razor-sharp knife on the cutting board. His mouth quirked at one corner, smiling, gaze assessing. “Sounds intriguing.”
He leant forward and rested both hands on the bar, the flex and tension in his forearms a powerful tease. Taylor swallowed hard.
“Is there anywhere we can talk—privately?”
“Out back in the den.” He flicked a hand toward a door behind the bar.
“More like going into the lion’s den,” she muttered.
“You say something?”
“Ah…no.” She dropped her gaze. Damn. Why hadn’t she chosen a different career? One where her clients didn’t ask about sex?
Holding herself stiff and feeling as if all eyes followed her movements, she walked behind the bar. As she brushed past him, the musky scent of his cologne teased her senses. Taylor willed the butterflies dancing a tango in her stomach to abate. They didn’t listen.
No more than a storeroom with boxes piled high along three of its four walls and a desk barely visible beneath a pile of papers and computer sheets, this room wore many different hats.
Every word Taylor had practiced dissolved from her memory as Cade closed the door behind him. The soft click of the latch echoed a thousand-fold. She spun around. He leant against the door, arms folded across his formidable chest, his gaze candid. He looked dangerous—but very delicious.
He spoke first. “Do I know you?”
“Not really.” Not yet.
“Shame.” He gave another of his long, lingering smiles, the kind that emphasized the dimples on either side of his sexy mouth. It set her toes curling and her body pulsing. Her internal temperature gauge hit the jackpot. Oh, Lordy, she was out of her depth.But here goes.
“I’m Taylor Sullivan. We didn’t meet, exactly, at Brianna Bennett’s wedding. I was her planner.” She jerked out her hand. Cade took it in his. Warm, strong fingers enveloped hers. The tips were slightly calloused, and the friction sent goose bumps skittering across her heated skin. She willed herself not to yank her hand from his and held herself in check.
“You touting for another wedding to plan?” Cade pushed away from the door, dwarfing the room. He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of jeans that skimmed his long, muscular thighs. “If you are,” he said, with a shrug, “you’re out of luck. Marriage and I don’t mix.”
Taylor tightened her grip on her bag, desperate to silence the slamming of her heartbeat. “So I heard.”
“You’ve heard more about me than I have of you,” he replied.
A hint of a smile tipped the corners of her mouth. “You’re quite well known, Mr. Harper. Successful and entrepreneurial.”
“I work hard.”
“And play hard, so the papers say.”
“Gossip and innuendo,” he countered, his steely gaze sizing her up.
A bead of sweat trickled between her breasts. Cade hadn’t taken his eyes off her since they’d entered the back room.
That has to be a good thing. Shows he’s interested, her subconscious reminded her.
Taylor shifted from foot to foot. It’s now or never, Sullivan.
With a deep breath that really didn’t soothe her chaotic thoughts, she pulled herself to her full five-foot-ten height and dived in. “I want you to have sex with me.”
Cade’s dark eyes bolted wide. “Whoa.”
Heat suffused Taylor’s cheeks. “Oh, hell, this is stupid.” How dumb could she be? She reached for her bag, but the over-laden carryall slid from her fingers and upended, scattering its contents across the floor.
Taylor gasped and, for one long, drawn-out second, simply stared. Her breath strangulated in her throat, and a furious heat burned behind her eyes. There, right at Cade’s feet, lay her box of condoms.
Blinking back tears, she dropped to her knees and gathered everything as fast as she could. “Stupid, stupid.”
Then worse worsened.
Cade reached the condoms the second before she did.
“You must be a good Girl Scout,” he said and passed the box to her.
Their fingers touched.
Their eyes met.
All the oxygen seemed to be sucked from her lungs. She pulled away, shaking her head, struggling for a semblance of practicality.
“Always be prepared. Isn’t that their motto?” Cade chuckled.
This was bad. Really bad. Mortified, Taylor refused to look at him and kept her lips firmly closed. She shoved the box into her bag and zipped it closed with a firm tug.
Open up again, she warned silently, and you’ll be in the rubbish bin.
She straightened, walked to the door and opened it. Strains of Dr. Hook’s “Sexy Eyes” wafted into the small room. How appropriate. Cade’s dark eyes were just that, downright sinful and sexy.
“Wait,” he said.
“You’ve just proposed something way out there and I want to know why.”
Her hand fell from the door. “You intrigue me.”
Cade’s seductive gaze traveled her length, lighting a trail of heat to the tips of her toes. “Are you going to tell me why you walked in here and offered yourself? Sex is a serious game.”
Taylor searched for the right words, unsure if there were any right ones. “In my business, I need experience.”
“You plan weddings. You don’t have to sleep with the grooms.”
Taylor gasped, but not one single word came out. Cade wanted an answer. Deserved one. She clutched her bag, kneading the leather. “I…get asked questions,” she finally managed to whisper.
“What sort of questions?”
“Damn it, Cade, do I have to spell it out?”
“Seems so,” he said with a hint of amusement glittering in his way-too-sexy eyes.
“You’re enjoying this.”
“Sure,” he said, not even denying it. He gave another of his smiles, the ones that got her all hot and bothered. And right now, she was very bothered.
“I get asked questions—about sex. S-E-X. Got it?” Taylor looked everywhere but at Cade.
She thought he’d laugh, joke, something, but not do this…not be gentle. Cade caught her chin in his fingers, turning her so she had to look at him. “So why not answer them?”
Oh, man. Where were those damned red shoes of Dorothy’s when she needed them? Kansas looked pretty appealing right now. “I can’t answer them.”
The tip of her tongue slid along her teeth. “Look, I realize this is on the edge of weird.”
“True,” he agreed, much to her chagrin. “I don’t have a beautiful lady come into my bar every day and ask for sex.”
He didn’t? Taylor’s brows knitted. Why not? Cade was hunk material. He made her forget—everything.
“Questions, you said,” he prompted.
Oh, God, there was no way out. Not even an earthquake could save her now. “The questions are something that goes with the territory of being a wedding planner. Brides get anxious,” she said, hugging her bag to her chest. “They may be experienced, even living with their partners, but sometimes, as the wedding draws near, they get skittery. They ask, um…questions—about sex. Questions I can’t answer, because…”
“Because you’re a virgin?”
Oh, where was that earthquake when a girl wanted it? “That’s right.” Heat burned her face. Her scalp. Everywhere. She speared Cade with a direct glare. Don’t you dare laugh! Don’t you make me feel any worse than I do, she silently challenged.
But he didn’t laugh. He didn’t smile. What he did was worse. Much worse.
He closed the gap between them. Taylor’s body erupted into high alert, nipples pebbling beneath her lacy bra. She could deal with him at a distance. But close up, everything changed. Body heat got in the way.
Thanks Elaine for having me on your blog.
Best wishes for 2011
Thanks for coming, Jane. If you're talking about hooks for the book, this excerpt was right on the money. Now we all want to know what happens next.