Today we have a very special treat. Jennifer Lowery, author of contemporary romance Hard Core is here today to talk to us about herself and her book. I first have to start off by saying that read and absolutely loved this book. Months ago, I remember reading snippets from Six Sentence Sunday on Jennifer’s website and I knew that this was a book I had to read. It did not disappoint. Cristian is an absolutely delicious tortured hero and Alana is such a talented, good person. I truly had a really hard time putting this book down at all. So now onto the interesting part. How are you Jennifer?
I’m great!! Thank you so much for the kind comments! And hello to all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! My debut book, Hard Core, released this month so I’m very excited to be here! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!!
In honor of my release I am offering a copy of my debut contemporary suspense, Hard Core, in either ebook format or signed print copy to one lucky commenter by midnight EST on Wednesday Oct. 24, 2012, so please leave me a comment with your EMAIL and gift choice to be entered to win!!
Wow, one very lucky blogger is going to get a great book to read!
So Jennifer, can you tell us a bit about you and how you got started with writing?
I can’t remember wanting to be anything except a writer! I grew up devouring books, lol. Even got caught in the seventh grade reading a romance book in the back of my math book! I detoured along the way, went to college, got a degree in Respiratory Care, and worked in a hospital as a Respiratory Therapist for 13 years before the time felt right to pursue my career as a writer—my dream. So, I quit my job, thanks to my wonderful hubby who supported us on his income, and began writing full-time. It took me 10 years to become published (I wrote during my years at the hospital) and 3 years once I began writing full-time to sign a contract! So if you have a dream, don’t give up!! No matter how long it takes you to get there, don’t give up! Dreams really do come true! Make it happen!
Wow. I have to admit that I envy your ability to write full time but I whole heartedly admire your dedication and determination. One day, I hope to be there. In publishing this book, you’ve completed a huge feat. What was the biggest obstacle you feel you’ve overcome through this whole writing journey?
I’m still overcoming, lol! But, self-doubt! Never thinking my writing is good enough or anyone will like my stories.
What would you say are your favorite and least favorite parts about the writing/promoting process?
I love it all! Maybe not the negative reviews or the people that are out to hurt writers with their reviews intentionally, but we can’t please everyone and I’m learning to accept that.
Gosh, you hit it on the nail. I agree that it is impossible for writers to please everyone, no matter what we do. Still, I like that we readers and writers are all unique and different. Makes life interesting.
Okay, now on to this amazing book! I absolutely fell in love with Cristian Slade from the get go. What/who was your inspiration for this stoic, brave and mysterious warrior? Was he hard to write? You did a great job with having me empathize with him from the beginning.
Aw, thanks! Cristian came to me out of the blue and just wouldn’t leave me alone, lol! And once you meet him you’ll understand why! He’s a determined man! He was easy, yet hard, to write. I knew him, yet, he had many layers to uncover as I wrote. Many secrets I was surprised to uncover. He was harder than I imagined. I had to soften him a bit.
What about Alana? She was a bit of a tortured soul but she came through very strong all throughout the book. You did a great job in staying true to her character, what was the most difficult part about writing her?
I loved writing Alana! She was spirited, strong and feisty! My favorite kind of heroine. Yet, she needed Cristian as much as he needed her. I have some medical background and Alana is a surgeon so that part came pretty easily! The difficult part was putting her through some of the conflict she had to deal with, but I knew she would make it through
Do you have a favorite part of this book that you just loved writing?
The jungle scene where Alana is nursing Cristian back to health. What’s better than a wounded mercenary in a hot, steamy jungle with a feisty red head doctor nursing him back to health in a rustic hut?
Oh yeah, I so loved the needle scene and the tension and the well… I’ll leave our readers some surprises. Where did you come up with the idea for this story? Will you write about some of the other mercenaries in this series? I don’t want to spoil anything but there are some major hunks in this book that I’d love to read more about.
The idea came with Cristian. It was just there. I just started writing his story and this is how it went. Yep! Working on Mercer’s story as we speak! I have just the woman for him…
Yay! Can’t wait as Mercer sounds so smooth and mysterious. He’s pretty observative too but I’m going to hush now. Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers about Hard Core or upcoming books you may have?
I hope my readers enjoy my debut book! My second book, Murphy’s Law, unrelated to Hard Core, comes out March, 2013! This is the story of my heart and I can’t wait for you to meet Murphy. And I have a short story, Taking Chances, coming out very soon! Hope you enjoy these books too!
Thank you for having me today!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support!
All my best,
Okay, now onto a great blurb and excerpt for Hardcore:
He takes lives. She saves them.
A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade’s new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.
Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O’Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she’s awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.
Doctoring Cristian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who’s hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana’s fire warms Cristian’s heart, but he’s a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?
Content Warning: Sexual content.
Prepared to start an IV, she picked up a needle. She had it in position when his other arm shot out and he clamped her wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Startled, she met his panicked gaze.
“I said no needles.”
Her heart banged against her ribcage as she let the needle slip out of her hand. It hit the floor with a small ting. Alana opened her hands in surrender, her patient’s fingers digging into her flesh. For a man half-dead, he had amazing strength.
“Okay,” she said to placate him. “Relax, I don’t have it anymore. It’s your choice, but I recommend you let me start an IV for meds.”
“No. Just fix me.”
Alana pinned him with a no nonsense stare. “I’m not impressed with Superman heroics.”
Face pale and drawn, he said gruffly, “I’m not Superman. Learned not to trust people with needles.”
Her fingers were going numb. “If I remove the bullet without pain medication or anesthetic, you’re going to be sorry.”
He studied her. “You’re really a doctor?”
Alana bristled. “Technically, yes.”
She didn’t have time to explain herself with the amount of blood seeping from his gunshot wound. “I went to med school. You can let go of my arm now. I won’t use any needles.”
He looked down and immediately released his grip. She rubbed her wrist to soothe away the ache. “Can I get to work now, or do you want to question me more about my credentials while you bleed to death? I don’t have a blood bank, so you’re screwed if you lose too much.”
Her blunt statement received a curt nod. She normally didn’t talk to her patients like that. Her patients didn’t normally countermand her either.
“Do it,” he said.
“I don’t need them. Just get it over with.”
Stubborn, stupid, or both? Insane, yes, but there wasn’t time to argue with him.
“Okay. The offer stands if you change your mind.”
She doubted that, but didn’t comment. Instead, wiped her forehead with her forearm, and picked up gauze pads to clean the wound.
“Here goes,” she warned and dabbed his skin.
Her patient didn’t move or even wince as she cleaned the angry wound. Either he had a will of steel or he’d passed out again. Hopefully, the latter. Sweat rolled down her back as she finished cleansing the area around the bullet entry. Red flesh puckered with the first signs of infection. In this environment infection was guaranteed.
With a steady hand that would have made her father proud, she picked up her instruments and took a deep breath.
“You still with me?”
He murmured a response, turning his head slightly so he could see her. The stark beauty of his profile, despite the bruises, struck her again. The lines of his face were chiseled, unforgiving. The kind of man she’d glance at twice if she passed him on the street.
A man associated with a criminal.
“Still here, Doc. What are you waiting for?” Husky with pain, his deep voice brought her out of her thoughts.
She gave herself a mental shake. “Want something to bite down on?”
A small, wry smile touched his lips and his lids closed. “You won’t hear a peep out of me. Just fix me, Doc.”
“I can hit you so you’ll sleep through it,” she muttered.
That drew a low chuckle from him. She didn’t expect him to have a sense of humor. He seemed too…hard. His chuckle turned into a grunt of pain. “You probably hit like a girl.”
Alana grinned. “Yes, I do. Rest assured it won’t feel like it.”
“Appreciate the offer, but, no.” His words slurred together, his muscles tense as he fought his body’s demands.
“You got a name, Superman?”
His head rolled to the side, his chest rose and fell slowly. She thought he was out but he murmured, “Cristian.”
“Nice to meet you, Cristian.”
Then she dug into the wound for the bullet.
Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.
Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers. She loves everything there is about romance. Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines. She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.
Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
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