Thursday, April 25, 2013

Interview with Selena Laurence!


Selena Laurence is a wife, and a mom, and a generally all-around nice person who woke up one day and realized that a) life wasn’t getting any longer, and b) the only thing she really liked to do was write and read Romance fiction. It was a lifelong tendency that started with books like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when she was a teen, and continued in college when she would sit in the library and read Harlequins instead of studying for finals (OK, that part wasn’t terribly smart). Over the years she filled her need for romance by getting married (Mr. Laurence has a romantic streak hidden in there somewhere), watching soap operas, and dreaming about all sorts of improbable stories.

Finally, she gave in to her obsession, sat down (many times) at the local coffee shop, and wrote a book. The book was terrible, and she put it away, never to be seen again – seriously, never again. Then, she saw a special call for stories related to Greek Myths. She got an idea, found critique partners, and started all over again. She didn’t make the deadline for the special call, but she did end up with LOVE, LIES, AND BRITISH SPIES. Now, she is hard at work on her next novel and has fallen in love with her new career, although her family says she loves the dog more than anything else.
And speaking of the dog, Selena and her Goldendoodle live with two kids and Mr. Laurence in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. They all spend a lot of time driving to soccer games and gymnastics meets. There are also two more kids in the family who got big, moved away to college, and wreak havoc on other parts of the state. They think they visit too much, Selena thinks they don’t visit enough.

Where to Find Selena:

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The_Book_Queen: Hi Selena! When did you know that you wanted to start writing? And at what point did you realize that romance was the genre for you?


Selena: I’ve always loved to write, but I spent most of my time writing non-fiction, while reading fiction. Yeah, it was weird. I don’t think I could conceptualize being a writer as a job when I was younger. But, now my kids are older, and my life is stable, so I finally had the time to entertain the notion of actually being a fiction writer. As for Romance, there was never really any question. I devour Romance novels and have most of my life. I own over 700 Romance novels on Kindle. That’s crazy, huh?


TBQ: Ha, not crazy at all! I think we can all relate to that--who's up for a round of "My Romance Book Pile is Bigger than Yours"? :D 
Your debut, Love, Lies, and British Spies just came out this week. Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it?


S: It’s a light Contemporary Romance, some label it Rom Com. It was based on a Greek Myth, and takes place in London, Paris and Alexandria (Egypt). I like to set my stories in interesting/exotic locales. For me, reading is an escape, so I enjoy escaping the geography of where I am too. The hero in this book is a British spy, a James Bond type, but with a much greater capacity to love. The heroine is an American and she’s got lots of that independent American female sass. It’s the perfect little book to take on a long plane ride or day at the pool. I’ve been told repeatedly that once you pick it up it’s hard to put down!


TBQ: Ooh, I love when books are set in exotic places--like you said, we read to escape! :) Are there other genres you would like to write about? Or other periods/countries?


S: I see myself as always writing Contemporary Romance, but there are a lot of sub-genres within that. As I said, Love, Lies, and British Spies is Rom Com, but the book I’m writing now is a New Adult (NA) book, along the lines of Colleen Hoover’s Slammed and Nyrae Dawn’s What a Boy Wants. I’ll be contributing to a holiday anthology this year with a military hero theme, and I’d also love to write some Romantic Suspense at some point. All my works, as I’ve said, have an exotic location for a setting.

TBQ: Here's wishing you all the luck with the writing! I'm espeically interested in your NA book; I'm just starting to get into the genre myself, but I'm enjoying it very much.
I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike. :) But I have to ask: What are a few of your favorite books and/or authors?


S: I am really eclectic. I have my favorite mystery/historical writers: C.S. Harris (Sebastian St.Cyr series), Deanna Raybourn (Lady Julia Grey series), and Tracy Grant (Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch series).

I also have favorite NA writers: Colleen Hoover (Slammed series), Nyrae Dawn, Abbi Glines (Seaside series).

And I have my favorite Paranormals: Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson series), Richelle Mead, Karen Marie Moning.

Oh! And my favorite YA stuff…and my favorite Steampunk…yeah, I could go on forever. Seriously.


TBQ: Hehe--nothing wrong with that! :)
We've all fallen for a hero (or two, or three, or....ahem).  Tell us one hero that you've fallen for—who is he and what drew you to him?


S: So here’s where having read so many books makes things difficult. They all start to blur together. One hero that stands out though is Daemon Black in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux Series. He’s very Alpha, but also funny as hell, and oftentimes such a clueless “guy” you have to take pity on him.


Another great hero is Nicholas Brisbane in the Lady Julia Grey series. He is this prickly, bossy, damaged man who gets conquered in the best possible way by a very independent, eccentric woman, and then spends all of his time trying (in vain usually) to get her under control.


Oops, that was two.


TBQ: I've not read either book, but now I'm putting them on my list!
What's next-- Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?

S: I’m scheduled to contribute to a holiday anthology that will be coming out Nov. 1st I believe. It’s called Christmas in Camouflage and each of the four stories will have a military hero or setting. I’m super excited about it, and I’ll start writing my portion of the book next month.


My current work is with my Beta readers right now, and is an NA that takes place in Hawaii. The hero is ex-military with a sordid past, the heroine is damaged but really tough, and there’s surfing and very hot sex, and even a really cute dog. I’m not sure when that will be released yet, but I’m hoping for late summer/early fall.




A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one?

Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?
Highlander! I’ve got MacFarlanes in my family tree.

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?
Hot summer days.

Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?
I’ve got one in the mountains. I’d really like one in the city.

If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be?
Late Victorian era. Not that original, but there it is.

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?
Cover Lover!

Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?)
Hmmm…Steamy Novella

Quick—name the one food that you cannot live without?
Tilamook cheddar cheese


And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:


  • I hate vegetables except for green chile and spinach
  • When I was twelve I gave someone mouth to mouth resuscitation when they stopped breathing and collapsed.
  • When I was four I was kidnapped by a drunk man on a street in Yugoslavia. Luckily my mom got me back before he made it more than two blocks away.


The_Book_Queen: Yikes--you've had quiet a few adventures there! And not exactly the good ones, either. I'm with you on the vegetables, I'm very picky myself.
 Thanks so much for stopping by, Selena, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)



Selena: I’d love to hear from readers about what are the top three things they look for in a good romance book? Is it the heroes? The build-up? The sex? The happily ever after? Tell me all about it!


Thank you, Book Queen! You’ve made my day!

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Love, Lies and British Spies by Selena Laurence
Publisher: Crimson Romance (April 22, 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 After an engagement gone terribly awry, American interior designer Eva Anderson has finally met the man of her dreams. Handsome, charming Owen Martin is one of London’s most talented musicians, and he’s head over heels for Eva to boot. But Owen forgot to tell Eva one little detail: he’s actually a top secret British spy…oh, and there are more than a few women in his past.
From the teashops of London to the cafes of Paris and the ports of Alexandria, Owen and Eva encounter terrorists run amok, friends with the best of intentions, guns, fangirls and espionage galore. But, will love ever be enough to overcome the lies of this British spy?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

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Thanks so much for stopping by today, Selena! :) I loved reading your responses, and I cannot wait to read this one (as well as your upcoming NA, that one sounds sooo good!) :D

Don't forget Selena's question!

 I’d love to hear from readers about what are the top three things they look for in a good romance book? Is it the heroes? The build-up? The sex? The happily ever after? Tell me all about it!


Until Next Time,


*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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