Thursday, April 24, 2014

Character Interview with Kate Willoughby!


Kate is in love with the sport of hockey. And the entire Los Angeles Kings team. Having lived most of her life completely uninterested in professional sports, she is surprised at the intensity of her enthusiasm and her growing collection of Kings merchandise:

•a Dustin Brown jersey (signed by Jordan Nolan, Dwight King and Jake Muzzin)
 •an iPhone case
 •two T-shirts
 •three lapel pins
 •a wristwatch and earrings
 •three hats
 •several play-off towels from 2012 and 2013
 •a purple sequined jacket
 •a replica Stanley Cup Champions banner
 •a car windshield sticker and license plate frame
 and the pièce de résistance... 
•a collector card with a swatch of Justin William’s game-worn jersey.

Yeah. Don’t judge her.

She has held a variety of jobs—podiatrist's assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator's assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, transcriptionist and barista—but her favorite by far is author. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a Chihuahua named Mochi.

She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America and Los Angeles Romance Authors and winner of the 2009 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance. 

Where to Find Kate:

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Kame: I love to discover new authors and recently I read On The Surface by Kate Willoughby. Tim and Erin Hollander are the main characters in the book. Tim is a professional hockey player with the San Diego Barracudas, and Erin is a nurse. Their love story is one of my favorites. As I told Kate they seemed so “real” to me, and people I could be friends with in real life. Today Tim and Erin have welcomed me into their home so we can talk about their story.

Tim and Erin, I am so excited to get a chance to talk to you. Thank you so much for opening your home to us; it is stunning. It is barely Spring weather out at my home on the East Coast, this is just beautiful out here. 

Tim: I know, right? California rocks. That was the one thing about my trade that was a plus.

Erin: [elbows Tim] Ahem.

Tim: Shit. I mean, except for meeting the love of my life, of course. Sorry, honey.

[Erin laughs]

K: Tim, was the move out to the West Coast to the new team hard? Some of the pull to play for the Barracudas has to be to play with your best friends. How special is it for you all to be together again?

Tim: No question, it’s great. You know, the NHL is really a small world, so it wasn’t like we never saw each other, but there’s a big difference between being opponents—which is fun in its own way—and playing on the same team. It’s hard to describe how it feels when you make a play together on the ice.

K: I just love how you met. Tim, what was going through your mind when Erin let that guy have it in the autograph line?

Tim: Not much. It happened pretty fast. It was more of a gut reaction than it was a conscious decision. I was already irritated with the guy, so when he pushed Erin, man, I just lost it.

K: Okay confess, Tim, if Erin hadn’t taken care of you after the press conference would you have tried to get her number and ask her out?

Tim: Are you kidding me? No doubt. Before I knew we’d be doing the press conference together, I was already looking forward to giving her the jersey I’d promised her.

K: Tim that proposal was one grand gesture. Not many couples can say their proposal is on YouTube.  Taking Erin out for a nice dinner wasn’t going to cut it was it?

Tim: Did you see it? Wasn’t it great? It has like a million views on YouTube.

Erin: [smiling] Here we go.

Tim: [puts his arm around her shoulders] To tell you the truth, I actually thought really hard about it. I kind of wanted her to know what she was getting into if she married me. When you get involved with an NHL player, your life becomes part of the public domain, in a way, so that proposal was just a little preview.

Erin: Little. Right. Eighteen thousand spectators and live TV coverage. If that’s your idea of little…

K: The Hubs made a public proposal to me, and I will say at the time everything sort of slowed down and I wasn’t really thinking about what was around me or putting the pieces together to figure out what was happening.  Erin, so what was going through your head when you realized what was going on?  Or did you clue in early? 

Erin: Oh, I was totally clueless for a long time. It was a crazy day, what with meeting his family for the first time and everything. I think it finally dawned on me by the time I got to the end of the carpet, but I was in a daze. Heck, sometimes I still wake up, surprised that I’m married to him.

Tim: Surprised and honored, she meant to say. [Laughing, Erin pokes him in the stomach]

K: Erin how often do you make it to the home games?  After that concussion towards the end of last season is it hard to watch Tim play now?

Erin: I make it to every game I can, depending on the work schedule. And yes, it is a little hard. It’s always there in the back of my mind that he might get hurt, but that’s a small price to pay, considering how much he loves the game.

K: Tim you win a great uncle award for helping Rachel deal with those bullies; it was one of my favorite scenes.

How is Rachel’s hockey season going? Is it easier for her now?  Do you make it to many games?

Tim: She’s doing great! We all went to Sochi and got tickets for some of the USA women’s hockey games. She met some of the players, practically peed her pants and now she’s aiming to get a gold medal herself someday. Sadly, I can’t make it to very many of her games in person. My schedule doesn’t really allow it.

K: A lot of exciting things going on in the family; Rachel is going to be a big sister, your wedding, the baby. Congratulations! Erin you are simply glowing. Tim you look like you won the lottery. So tell me the truth – how long did it take for Tim to come home with a bunch of tiny Barracuda wear or a small pair of skates?

Erin: Oh, please. [She points to her T-shirt which says “Future NHL player” with an arrow pointing to her baby bump] No skates yet, but every Barracuda baby item they make, we have. He even got all the sizes because he knows the baby’s going to grow. While we’re on the subject—sorry—we have an ultrasound appointment. And before you ask, no, we’re not finding out the sex. Apparently the team has a big pregnancy pool going on.

Tim: Yep. They’re betting an all sorts of crap. How long her labor will be, if I’ll be in town, weight, height, penis/no penis, hair/no hair, if Erin cusses me out or not. It’s fantastic.

Kame: And something tells me, Tim, you are loving every minute of it!  Thank you, Erin and Tim, for letting us stop by. I hope we get to check in with you in the books in the series. 

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On the Surface by Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Carina Press (April 14, 2014) 
Series: In the Zone, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Sports

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After "Bottlegate," he's traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he'll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who's never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim's autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can't get her to see beyond what's on the surface, they'll never last longer than a single season…

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Read Kame's Review HERE!

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Wow, thanks for that fun interview, Kate! And great job with the questions, Kame. This interview is making me want to read the book even more. :D

Are you a hockey fan -- either in romance books or in real life? Do you have any sexy hockey man candy to share? 


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!


Ann Lorz said...

Nice interview!

Anna@herding cats&burning soup said...

Heh he sounds like a total cutie!

Kate Willoughby said...

Aw, I'm sorry I didn't see these comments until now. Thank so much Anna and Ann. I do love Tim a lot. He makes me smile.