Monday, December 12, 2016

[Author Interview]: Jessica Peterson + Giveaway!


Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Mr. Darcy, Jamie Fraser (OMG love the gingers!), and Edward Cullen, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark and handsome heroes of her own. 

She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Mr. Peterson, and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean.

Where to Find Jessica:

TheBookQueen: Hi Jessica! Can you tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself?

Jessica: Hi there! First of all, thank you so much for having me—with all the amazing stuff that’s being released in Romancelandia, it’s no small thing when readers and bloggers take a chance on a new author. I so appreciate it!

Martha Bean
So, the three fun things about myself…hm. I’ll start with the confession that I absolutely love to dance (usually like an uncoordinated maniac with flailing), and that Drake and/or Justin Bieber make the music I love to dance to most. I once flew to Las Vegas just to see a Justin Bieber concert (I hate to fly—that’s how much of a Belieber I am!).

I never thought I was much of a dog person. But last year we got a puppy (Martha Bean—she’s a standard Goldendoodle), and now I’m that crazy dog lady that takes her dog to lunch with her and feeds her dog organic peanut butter. It’s a sickness, but I kinda love it.

Finally, I’m obsessed with Podcasts.  I recently discovered them (I know, I know, where have I been?), and now I look forward to road trips so I can listen to them. We just finished up Serial, and now I’m really digging Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast.

TBQ: Aw, she's adorable! Beloved pets turn us all a bit crazy like that. One cat and two pups here, so I should know! :)

Typically romance writers were first romance readers. What made you decide to start writing romance?

J: I was a super sensitive, super introverted kid. I always loved to read, and when I hit my teenage years, I began devouring my mom’s romance novels. It wasn’t long before I started dreaming of writing my own stories. It took a while to actually start writing, but once I did, I couldn’t stop! It’s been a bumpy road, but I’m very proud of my STUDY ABROAD series.

TBQ: I know so many can relate to that (and you should be proud, way to go, you!).

Speaking of -- Your newest book, Lessons in Letting Go, released today (congrats). Can you tell us a little bit about it and why readers are going to love it?

J: Thank you! I am very excited about this book; it’s my first sports romance I’ve written, and I was surprised by how much I absolutely loved writing the sports angle. I know I’m not supposed to play favorites, but Rhys and Laura may be my smexiest couple yet.

I studied abroad more than ten years ago in Spain. I lived in Madrid the same time David Beckham was playing for the giant football club there, Real Madrid. I went to a game with my roommate, and we had the best time. The atmosphere was insane! From that moment on, I knew I wanted to write a footballer romance. It only took a decade or so to get to it!

Around this time last year, I fell head over heels for the GAME ON series by Kristen Callihan and the OFF CAMPUS series by Elle Kennedy.  I wanted to write a super sexy, super fun, kinda angsty sports romance like theirs. I’d like to think LESSONS IN LETTING GO fits the bill! Think hot, tortured Welsh footballer + ambitious American student studying abroad + an orgasm-heavy bucket list.

TBQ: Well that would sure make me one-click! :D

In 5 words or less, describe Laura for us. And let's not forget Rhys -- what's he like?

J: Laura—smart, funny, ambitious, perfectionist, self-aware
Rhys—driven, talented, serious, a bit alpha, SEXY

TBQ: Who do you picture as Laura and Rhys? (Like a dream cast.)

J: Ooooh I love this question!  So I picture Laura as Brooklyn Decker (the gorgeous girl next door). I drew physical inspiration for Rhys from a couple different guys. The first is Daley Blind, a cute Dutch footballer with a manbun and a wicked style of play (he plays for Manchester United). I also referenced some shirtless—ahem—photos of Olivier Giroud, another hot footballer. Totally delicious!

TBQ: Um, yes, yes please.

Do you have a favorite part from Lessons in Letting Go?

J: Yikes this is always a difficult question to answer. Honestly, my favorite parts of any book—including mine!—are the kissing and sex scenes! I won’t give too much away, but there’s one scene where Rhys helps Laura do something she’s wanted to do forever. It involves a lot of nakedness and a mirror. You’ll have to read the book to find out more!

TBQ: I can confirm that said scene is indeed noteworthy for all the right reasons. 😏

What are a few of your comfort reads/authors, the ones that you return to again and again?

J: I’ll buy anything Tessa Dare writes, and I’m a huge Rainbow Rowell fan. I also will devour Philippa Gregory’s books in single sittings. I’m weirdly obsessed with Medieval and Renaissance England. I’m on the hunt for a sexy Christopher Marlowe novel, if anyone has any recommendations!

TBQ: Oh, yes, Dare's novels are fantastic! I'll have to keep my eyes open for any recs. :)

What amazing books have you read recently that you want others to know about?

J: Oh, wow, just so many. Obviously there’s Elle Kennedy and Kristen Callihan and their sexy New Adult series. I just finished my first Molly O’Keefe book, and it blew my socks off (EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID).  Like everyone else on the planet, I adored Sally Thorne’s THE HATING GAME. I also loved THE ROYAL WE like, so freaking much.  The Fug Girls just nailed the conflict and emotional stakes so well. It gave me a serious case of writerly envy!

TBQ: So many great books there! The only one I have yet to read is The Royal We.

What's next -- Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?

J: Sure! As I was writing LESSONS IN LETTING GO, I thought I’d be continuing the Study Abroad series. But I’ve had such an enthusiastic response to the sports angle that now I’m mulling doing a spin-off soccer/footballer series—perhaps set in England? I should have more news on this soon!


Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?

I live in North Carolina, where we’ve had WICKED hot summers these past few years. So I’d definitely take cold winter nights. Love snuggling up with a glass of wine and a good book in front of the fire!

Cake or pie?

Definitely cake. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but if there’s cream cheese frosting involved, I am SO in.

Writing in silence or music blasting?

Depends. I put together a playlist for every book I write, and when I sit down at my computer I usually play a song or two off the playlist to get me in the mood. I definitely need some moody tunes to write sex scenes to. Everything else has to be written in silence (so boring!).

City or country/mountain?

Is both a lame copout answer?  I love to travel to cities (Charleston, SC and London are my favorites!), but I also appreciate some beautiful scenery and the quiet of the country.  

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?

Cover, all the way.  Although I seriously appreciate a fun/witty blurb.  Now that I’m writing them on my own, I recognize how difficult it is to get the blurb right!

Quickie or Slow Build Up? (In books! 😏)

I like a slow emotional build up—I’m not the biggest fan of insta-love, but if it’s done right, I can dig it.  As for the sex—now that I want right away! [Hehe, oh yes! 😉]

If you could live in any fictional world, what one would you pick?

I love this question!  Right now I’m totally into THE CROWN on Netflix.  I think I’d like to be member of the royal family. It’s probably pretty lame in real life, but I totally love the actor who plays Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Phillip.

Describe your “perfect day” for us:

What a fun thing to think about. A perfect day would include some writing, some tennis with my husband (and of course my dog—she loves to chase after the balls we hit!), and dinner out with lots of friends and even more wine and pasta. I love my carbs. [Carbs are the best, hands down.]

Quick — name the one food that you cannot live without!

Right now that’s definitely coffee!

TheBookQueen: Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion?

Jessica: Thank YOU for having me—seriously great questions! I’d love to steal a page from your book and ask your readers where they’d like to travel to most. Is it Europe to see castles and hot footballers? Or are you a beach/tropical-drink-in-hand kind of gal? I love to peek at other peoples’ travel fantasies. 😄

Lessons in Letting Go by Jessica Peterson 
Publisher: Peterson Paperbacks (December 12, 2016)
Series: Study Abroad, 3
Genre: New Adult Romance

“Ten minutes ago, I was just an American student studying abroad in Spain. But now? Now I’m a professional soccer player’s muse. His good luck charm...” 

Soccer star Rhys Maddox’s recovery from an injury isn’t going well—until one night with a beautiful American and a few terrible pick-up lines changes everything. With Laura at his side, he plays smarter, runs faster, and fights harder than he ever has on the pitch. She’s just the good luck charm he needs to turn his flailing career around.

Laura Bennet begins her semester in Madrid with plans to ditch bad habits and worse boyfriends. But when she unexpectedly gets caught up in Rhys's A-list life, her plans are put on hold. Who wouldn’t skip class to fly on a private jet with a studly Welsh footballer? It’s a no brainer, or so she thinks. Turns out Rhys’s glamorous lifestyle hides an obsession with appearances—an obsession that makes her totally miserable. Determined to take back her happiness, Laura decides to dump Rhys and tackle a “Spain Bucket List” on her own.

But Rhys isn’t letting his good luck charm go without a fight. He’s spent his entire life trying to earn his way into the big leagues, and he’ll do anything to win—even risk his carefully crafted image to help Laura with her bucket list. Will he be able to let go of his ego? Or will he and Laura ultimately let go of each other?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Lessons in Letting Go by Jessica Peterson

When the throaty rumble of an exotic sports car fills the playground, I feel like I’m going to faint.  On cue, the kids drop whatever they were doing and hurry toward the fence.  They let out little gasps of surprise as a black convertible Lamborghini pulls up to the curb.
I bared myself to Rhys in every sense of the word last week.  I felt relatively brave then.  But now?  Not so much.  I feel embarrassed.  Some small, mean part of me thinks he came here just to make fun of me for my hairy vagina or awful, pretend o-face.
I remind myself I have nothing to lose, that I’m focusing on me, myself, and my bucket list this semester, but that doesn’t do much to slow my racing pulse.
I look down at a tug on my hand.  It’s the little girl with the missing front teeth.
It’s all right, Miss Bennet, she says.  That’s Batman.  He is kind and generous, just like the giving tree.  Although sometimes he kills people, too.
Rhys revs the engine one last time—boys and their toys, so ridiculous—before he turns off the car and climbs out, tucking his sunglasses into the front pocket of his tuxedo jacket.

That’s right.  As if this whole scenario wasn’t ridiculous enough, Rhys is wearing a goddamn tuxedo.  I feel like I’m in a commercial, one of those ads that’s trying to sell probiotic yogurt to middle-aged women.  Rhys is one tall class of yogurt—water—whatever—in his dapper duds.  I didn’t know feeling weak in the knees was actually a thing until this very moment.  I grab onto the fence to steady myself.

Jessica's giving away 5 e-copies of LESSONS IN LETTING GO:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for the fun interview, Jessica, and I cannot wait to see what books you have planned in the near future! 

Don't forget Jessica's question for you all: 

I’d love to steal a page from your book and ask your readers where they’d like to travel to most. Is it Europe to see castles and hot footballers? Or are you a beach/tropical-drink-in-hand kind of gal? I love to peek at other peoples’ travel fantasies.


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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