We’re excited to have Lorelei James with us today chatting about her release, TURN AND BURN (you can read our review here). Help me in welcoming Lorelei to Cocktails and Books.
Tell us about yourself. I’m a secret assassin with the CIA and all my books are written from real life experiences—kidding. So you want to know the boring stuff right off the bat, huh? I’m a fulltime writer living in western South Dakota with my husband of 28 years. We have 3 daughters—only one still lives at home.
How did you get your start as a writer? I started writing toward publication in 2000 after I quit my job in my husband’s family’s firearms business. My first book, a gritty mystery, BLOOD TIES, written under the name Lori Armstrong, was published in 2005. Since I also wrote romance, I took on a pen name when my first romance was published in 2006. I still write in both genres under both names.
What is your typical writing schedule like? It’s been crazy the past few years. I’m usually working on several books at once—either writing one, editing one, writing a proposal for one, doing copy edits on one. I write about 10-12 hours a day, depending on deadlines, but that’s been pretty much 7 days a week for the last 2 years, unless I’m on vacation. I try to take at least a week off between books.
Tell us about TURN AND BURN. It’s the 5th book in the Blacktop Cowboys series and it’s set in Muddy Gap, Wyoming. These books center around a community and a group of friends rather than a single family, like in my Rough Riders series. My heroine has had a serious run of bad luck and needs a place to hole up and decide a direction in her life so she takes a temporary job at the Split Rock Ranch and Resort in Muddy Gap. Meanwhile, my hero is so devoted to the animals under his care, that he only has time for one night stands and after meeting the heroine, he realizes he’s ready for an adult relationship.
Where did the idea for the storyline come from? The title, TURN AND BURN, is a barrel racing term, so it fit this book perfectly since the female lead is a world champion barrel racer. I introduced Tanna Barker in the first Blacktop Cowboys book, CORRALLED and from the moment she stepped onto the page I knew I wanted to write a book about her. She’s a Texas girl through and through, feisty, funny, sexy, loyal—which makes for a fun character to work with. As far as the hero, veterinarian August “Fletch” Fletcher, he’s also been mentioned in the previous 4 books. Both the characters are older, and in different stages in their lives and careers, so I put them together to see the sparks fly.
What do you think readers will like/love about Tanna and Fletch? Tanna’s independence and Fletch’s sweetness. Oh, and the fact they burn up the sheets whenever they’re in a room with a bed.
What was your favorite scene from the book? I really loved writing the opening scene where Fletch and Tanna meet in the bar and don’t exchange names at all before the chemistry overtakes them
What are three things about you that might surprise your readers? I don’t own a horse and I’m not an experienced rider. I refuse to karoke. I won’t watch any Nicolas Sparks movies or read any of his books.
If you had to pick a favorite cocktail of choice, what would it be? (It can be non-alcoholic too.) Swedish-gummy fish flavored-vodka mixed with Sprite zero. Or a Bud Light Lime-arita.
What’s next for you? I just finished BOUND the first book in a new series called the Mastered Series—which doesn’t feature cowboys. I’m working on UNWOUND, the second book in that series and I’m fine tuning the plot for the 6th Blacktop Cowboys book, HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR.
Tanna Barker is a world champion barrel racer. But her personal life has been less of a success, and she’s feeling adrift. After her mother’s unexpected death, her father has remarried, and sold the Texas ranch she called home. Now a rodeo injury has left the restless spitfire holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure what her next move should be.
Until she meets her match in a wild, wild cowboy
Veterinarian August Fletcher has always put his job first. He’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle. But when sassy, sexy Tanna blows into town, he finally finds the woman of his fantasies. And there’s something between them, but she claims she’s been burned by love ’em and leave ’em road dogs before. How can Fletch prove that he’s in it for the long haul, and that their sizzling relationship is better than winning any rodeo medal? It’ll take some sweet persuasion to convince Tanna that Muddy Gap is where she belongs.
When New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorelei James is not squirreled away behind her laptop in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, she can be found reading, shootin’ her .22, watching the Professional Bull Riders tour, and running a kids’ taxi service, all in the guise of avoiding housework and rustlin’ up vittles. Visit her online at Visit her online at www.loreleijames.com, www.facebook.com/lorelei-james, and www.twitter.com/loreleijames.