Interview: Jessica Lemmon & Giveaway

JESSICA-LEMMON-PHOTOI’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*

Epilogue

1. Tie & jacket or bowtie & sweater?
Tie and jacket.

2. Favorite horror film?
Scream

3. Favorite musical?
Chicago

4. Favorite actor?
Johnny Depp

5. Favorite season?
Fall

6. Favorite drink (alcohol counts)?
Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA

7. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset


giveaway
temptingSynopsis: 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!

Book Review: Jessica Lemmon’s Tempting the Billionaire

temptingTitle: Tempting the Billionaire
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Yes / Book 1
Rating: 5 out of 5
My Copy: Purchased

The romance genre is oversaturated with billionaire plots and even though I had my doubts, Jessica Lemmon’s Tempting the Billionaire was a pleasant surprise.

Crickitt Day is down on her luck and needs a job. Hoping to chase the blues away she agrees to a night out with her best friend Sadie. While at the bar Crickitt breaks down into tears as she takes stock of her life and what she’s lost. Across from Crickitt is Shane August and his cousin Aiden. Shane reluctantly agrees to go out with Aiden to help him get back into the dating scene. Aiden quickly zeroes in on Crickitt and seeing her tears assumes she’ll be easy to seduce; however, Shane takes one look at Crickitt and his heart stops. He’s interested in her and convinces Aiden that Crickitt’s friend is where his interest lies. When Shane begins to talk to Crickitt, she confesses she needs a job and acting on impulse he hands her his business card. She’s hesitant about the job interview and in fact turns down his offer, but reconsiders when he interviews her a second time. Both are clearly attracted to each other and Shane tries to set up guidelines of how to go about their relationship, but Crickitt doesn’t want what he’s offering. Realizing he can’t give her what she wants, they both agree to maintain a professional relationship. When Crickitt’s ex-husband calls her, Shane believes she’s gone back to him and what ensues is a beautiful story about a man and a woman realizing what true love is.

What I really liked about Tempting the Billionaire is the fact Shane is normal. He wears cargo pants and isn’t flashing his cash telling the whole world “oh look at me! I’m filthy rich!” When he does, it’s to help people who need it. He’s also not going around showing up where Crickitt is or demanding to know her whereabouts. Nor is he showering her with endless gifts. He’s not interested in buying her love, but rather he’s more interested in getting to know her. Shane does have some issues that are rooted in his past as a child. It’s easy to understand his reluctance at falling in love because he witnessed firsthand what it did to his father and he wants to spare his children the heartache he experienced. The scene in which he realizes he can’t live without Crickitt was the best. It’s also refreshing to read a book where the two protagonists are aware of their sexual attraction and have an adult conversation about what to do about it.

Some people think Crickitt is a doormat but I disagree. You have to take into account her past. Most people enter relationships with some baggage and what she has is normal for a woman who is divorced. Remember she’s only known one man and spent the past eleven years catering to him. Besides she’s perfectly able to stand up for herself and knows what she wants. When Shane takes off to distance himself from her, she had one of two of options. The first was to continue to work for him as his personal assistant or quit and leave him hanging. Instead she took the initiative and became the face of August Industries when Shane didn’t care.

Lemmon’s characters are believable and flawed. Her writing is engaging and witty. If I had been reading this book out in public, everyone would have seen the HUGE grin on my face. I had so much fun reading this and adore it immensely.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Women may throw themselves at you like live grenades, but the rest of us commoners have to come out of the trenches and hunt.

She looked at it a beat before taking it. “Crickitt.”
“Like the bug?” He flinched. Smooth.

Her mother pulled her to one side. “You stay as long as he needs you, you hear?”
Pimped out by my own parents. “Yes, Mother.”

I’m not ashamed to say I read this book in a day. I kept insisting I would only read one more chapter and just kept going. If you’re looking for a book with lots of sexual tension that will make your heart beat, this is the book for you. Heck if you’re just looking for a good fleshed out romance this is your book. There’s a side romance between Sadie and Aiden and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in book 2, Hard to Handle.