I’m really excited to welcome Jessica Lemmon today to Literary, etc! Her book, Tempting the Billionaire is already available. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance then this a MUST read for you. Walk…no make that run to your nearest book retailer and purchase it. I can’t stress enough how much I LOVED this book. I reviewed it here.
Giveaway details are located at the end of the interview along with a synopsis of Tempting the Billionaire. Good luck!
Q. Tell me a little bit about Jessica Lemmon, other than the standard bio on your website.
I love violent TV shows! I never miss an episode of Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Dexter, or The Walking Dead.
Q. Why did you decide to write a contemporary romance? What was it about the genre that appealed to you?
The happy-ever-after ending! There’s nothing better than watching two broken people repair each other.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t write in public. I love the idea of going to a bookstore or coffee shop to write, but the truth is, I’m far too distracted by the people around me to concentrate.
Q. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Hmm… I had to think about that! I don’t tend to dwell on the negative. I’m going to have to be honest and say the first critical review I received. It was an attack (an attack, I tell you!) on my sweet, kind-hearted heroine. What a blow! Now, I focus on the positive and ignore the rest. Those kinds of reviews are rarely constructive.
My favorite compliment is when people tell me they can’t wait to read Aiden’s story (Love in the Balance series book #2: Hard to Handle). That’s the highest compliment!
Q. Tempting the Billionaire is your debut novel. What was your journey like from reader to aspiring author to published writer?
In 2009, I read the Twilight saga in 5 days. After, I decided I wouldn’t spend another minute not pursuing my dream of becoming an author. I wrote constantly, joined the RWA, sent my work to critique partners, and read a gazillion romance novels. In 2012, I landed my agent, the fabulous Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency. Tempting the Billionaire sold within weeks of her shopping it around, and was given a very quick release: January 2013.
Q. While writing Tempting the Billionaire, what was the single most difficult challenge to overcome?
Shane! I spent countless hours digging into who he was and what made him do the things he did. I struggled to connect with what, exactly, kept him from allowing himself to love Crickitt. When I landed on the plane scene, I had a Eureka! moment. I’d finally found his motivation.
Q. If you could describe Tempting the Billionaire in 3 words what would they be?
Fun, fast, flirty!
Q. Very wealthy men in romance novels are nothing new. What attracted you to write about a billionaire? In your opinion, what sets Tempting apart from the rest in the genre?
I made Shane wealthy for one simple reason: I’d written a lot of blue collar, struggling heroes in my previous books. I didn’t want money to be a factor, so I gave him a lot of it.
Tempting is different because of Shane. He loves his family, he bakes, he’s unafraid to be kind to others. I’ve never read a hero like him.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about Shane? What makes him sexy to you?
I love that Shane has an undeniable kindness he can’t help but show. No matter how hard he tries to distance himself from people, he still finds himself giving to others, whether it’s a job to Crickitt, or a really big “tip” to a waitress. And, of course, he’s tall, dark, and handsome. That’s not hurting anyone’s feelings, is it? 😉
Q. Shane’s a baker and although baking is a trend growing among men, some refuse to admit to baking. What inspired you to give Shane this characteristic feature?
Those cookies came from me! The summer I wrote Tempting, I tackled a dessert cookbook called Babycakes by Erin McKenna. In it, is the recipe for the most AMAZING chocolate chip cookies I’d ever eaten. Baking was a fun, unexpected hobby to give Shane, and it gave him a special bond to his mother.
Q. Shane’s family and his relationship with his cousins stands out in Tempting. Was this your way of giving him a support system after the death of his mother?
Inadvertently, yes. He needed a buddy, and I tossed Aiden into the mix. The rest of the family sprouted out of the ground like weeds. I’m close to my first cousins, so that kind of relationship wasn’t hard to imagine.
Q. Ronald, Crickitt’s ex-husband, plays a minor role and sort of stays in the background. How difficult was it to keep him at arm’s length? Ultimately, what’s his reaction to finding out about Shane?
Not difficult at all! My editor suggested I write out the phone call; in my original manuscript, I’d left it out. (She was right! It needed written.) I imagine Ronald would convince himself that Crickitt left him for a rich guy, and then would proceed to tell that sob story to any of the (unfortunate) women he dated.
Q. One of my favorite scenes was Shane meeting Crickitt’s family for the first time in his office. Do you have a particular favorite chapter or scene?
Thank you! I love that scene, too! 🙂 I really like the first kiss. I won’t ruin the surprise here, but as my best friend-slash-beta reader said, “Crickitt’s reaction is so…human.”
Q. What character have readers asked you the most about? Which left an impression on them and did it surprise you?
Aiden! It was surprising that readers grew to love him in Tempting as a secondary character. Sometimes I’m a little sad for Shane? I’m like, “He’s sexy too, right?” LOL. But, hey, I get it. I love Aiden to pieces. I can’t wait for everyone to read his and Sadie’s journey.
Q. Finally, Hard to Handle comes out in August, any spoilers you want to give us?
*makes zipping motion over lips*
1. Tie & jacket or bowtie & sweater?
Tie and jacket.
2. Favorite horror film?
3. Favorite musical?
4. Favorite actor?
5. Favorite season?
6. Favorite drink (alcohol counts)?
Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA
7. Sunrise or Sunset?
Synopsis: Crickitt Day needs a job . . . any job. After her husband walks out on her, she’s determined to re-build her life and establish a new career. When swoon-worthy billionaire Shane August hires her as his assistant, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Despite her growing attraction to her boss, she vows to keep things strictly professional. No flirting. No kissing. Definitely no falling in love…
Shane August is all business, all the time. He’s a self-made man who’s poured his heart and soul into his company, and he’d never allow himself to get involved with an employee. Then he hires sweet, sexy Crickitt-and he can’t keep his mind or his hands off her. But no matter how much he wants Crickitt, Shane fears that painful secrets from his past will always come between them. With fate working against them, can these two lonely hearts learn that sometimes mixing business with pleasure is the perfect merger?
Woo-hoo! Jessica has offered 2 paperback copies of Tempting the Billionaire. That means, two lucky winners get to bring paperback Shane home. To enter simply answer the question: What’s your favorite baked good? It can either be something you bake or love to eat.
Giveaway rules: USA only and no POBs. Winners will be chosen by random.org. Giveaway runs until April 24th and ends at 8 pm EST. Good luck!