Today Dee Tenorio is spending the day with us.
I personally had never read any of Dee’s books, and a few months or so ago I received her book Kiss Me Again in error when requesting a book with a similar title to review. That ended up being one of those times I was so very glad a mistake was made, once I read and reviewed the book. KMA is a lovely story, and I know there have to be other readers out there who haven’t read Dee’s books and would be glad to find a new author to revel in. So I invited her to join us for some fun today.
So sit back and relax as you visit with Dee, and if you have a question or comment for her, by all means, post away and we’ll put you in the drawing for one of Dee’s books. She’ll let us know sometime today which title is in the running.
Now let’s chat!
DT: Hi Sandy! So glad to be here! Hmmm, a little about myself. Well, let’s see. I’m a wife and a mom and a reader and an absolute fan girl of romantic stories. (And in case anyone was wondering, I only consider books with happy endings where the couple are together and plan to stay that way a romance, lol. I fully admit to being uppity when it comes to romance. )
DC: If you could retire any interview question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
DT: Probably, “Which of your books do you love the most?” Books are like kids, you love them equally, and usually for different reasons. That said, it’s usually the book I’m working on when I get asked it, lol. You have to fall in love with it while you write and make your peace with it when it’s time to move on. (Wow, putting it that way I feel like a serial monogamist!)
DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?
DT: Oh, absolutely. In fact, I know I’ve made a wrong turn when the characters stop talking. Almost like I’m following their voices. It takes some back tracking and replanning, but in the end, it’s always worth it.
DC: You have a new series, The Lonnigans, and the first book, All of You, was released just yesterday. First would you tell us about the series as a whole, and then we’ll talk about the books themselves.
DT: I’d love to. The Lonnigans are twin brothers, one of whom has decided he wants to settle down. Playboy Kyle–the hero of All Of You–has had a “Come To Jesus” moment of sorts and his pragmatic twin, Lucas, doesn’t take it at all serious. Always happy to help Kyle back to the world of reality, Lucas offers to let him trade places with him for a night. See how it feels to date like a regular guy. Never one to walk into a trap alone, Kyle offers to make it a blind date swap and just like that, the two of them begin adventures they never bargained on.
The real fun about this series is that both books run concurrently, so there are scenes that overlap in both books, meaning you get to find out what each brother was thinking at that pivotal moment. (Which, let me tell you, was SO much fun to do!)
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
DT: Oh, I’ve definitely argued with them. In fact, I’ve been arguing with my upcoming hero to all new levels the last few weeks. He wants to be all commanding and powerful and I keep telling him, Dude, you are. But you’re going to be commanding and powerful the way I tell you to be commanding and powerful. (He’s brooding at the moment)
DC: There’s a switcheroo going on in All of You. Can you give us the lowdown on Kyle and Jessica, please.
DT: Sure thing. See, when Kyle heads off to date what he anticipates to be a boring woman who would like nothing better than to settle down and pop out kids, he has no idea that she’s really his brother’s business connection. Jessica, a finance lawyer, is about as interested in his brother Lucas–and settling down–as she is in contracting poison ivy. In fact, she’s there to break things off with Lucas, but Jessica’s plans go awry when the Lucas who sits at her table might as well be a whole other man. A tempting, delicious and thoroughly charming man…
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
DT: Oh, that would be my children. I have twin toddlers and an eleven-year-old son as well as a nearly eighteen-year-old niece. There’s always something going on, someone yelling for Mommy, someone needing food. It’s really more a case of which story is going to distract me enough to make me sit down and write, lol.
DT: Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d say All Of You gives me a great big “WOW” moment, but the one lodged at the bottom of my heart has to be Kiss Me Again. It’s just so beautiful and really shows the love between the hero and the heroine–the longing, the joy…and the sense that they’re drowning in everything they’ve let get in the way. It was just a perfect fit.
DT: Well, lol, that would have to be Betting Hearts. It was my first book and when I asked for the cards, I was thinking about tying in the name and I was absolutely TERRIFIED of having a Poser cover, lol. Samhain hadn’t put a book out yet either, when I requested it. I’ve learned quite a bit since then, so I still love the story, but ohhhh, what I wouldn’t give to have another crack at that cover.
DC: How do you feel your male or female characters have evolved over your career? Do you think you write them differently now than you did when you started?
DT: Oh, they’ve totally come a long way. When I first started, my heroines were a little more reactive than proactive. Cass (Betting Hearts) was really a foreshadow of what I’d eventually find as heroines who fit for me. Spirited, determined, strong. I still love my other heroines, but the truth is that I’m hero-centric as a writer. I’m a tomboy at heart and had to learn to be girlish (not unlike Cass, actually) and so I tend to understand the heroes long before I do the heroines. I’m getting better, though. I just had to learn to find heroines I could relate to and be proud of.
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
DT: Well, sort of. I’ve had a long-standing love affair with paranormals and a deep respect for folks who write suspense, because I didn’t think I could ever write either. Then one day, I had this story idea and a shifter hero I couldn’t say no to. The heroine came along and I was toast. Tempting The Enemy was born and Carina Press snapped it up for later this year and I’m already working on the sequel. So, I don’t know that I’ve tackled it, but I’m loving giving it a try!
DC: The second book, All or Nothing, in the series is due out in July. Sounds like Lucas gets a big surprise when he least expects it. Please tell us about him and his love, Belinda.
DT: LOL, oh, Lucas. Bear with him, folks. He only seems like a robot. He’s really a robot with a heart of gold, lol. Okay, here’s the deal with Lucas. He’s taken, always has been, but the woman he loves has some really deep scars and the last thing she wants is a man who loves her all the way down to her soul. Belinda is tough, like weathered wire, something she’s had to become to survive her life. Lucas gets her all the way down to the soft parts and that’s something she can’t handle. So what happens when all that tension between them explodes? Well, let’s put it this way. Mount Vesuvius has nothing on these two…
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
DT: Pay attention in Grammar class. Oh, and I’d have made me read “Self-Editing For Fiction Writers” waaaaay earlier. It’s never to early to get started learning craft.
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
DT: LOL! I’ve never been asked that! Let’s see…
Dee Tenorio always figured a quick smile and a pithy joke could get her out of any situation, but when she met the man of her dreams, it became very clear that laughing was only going to make her fall deeper in love–and in trouble–than ever before. Through job-changes, child-rearing, heartbreaking loss and the triumph of finding her dreams, Dee’s life is a roller coaster filled with love, laughter and surprises you don’t want to miss.
DC: What would be your “voice’s” tagline?
DT: Sensual honey, uproarious fun.
DC: Tempting the Enemy is slated to be out in June. May we get a sneak peek for our readers?
Sure! How about the blurb?
Unedited Blurb: Detective Pale Rysen, an Alpha, is determined to secretly rebuild the Wolf packs from the ashes of genocide. So when a killer starts picking off young females looking for sanctuary, it’s his job to protect them. Forced to work with a hated enemy, he fears his cover is about to be blown.
Jade-Scarlet’s membership in the powerful Order of the Sibile has always been controversial. A half-wolf, Jade’s unstable psychic powers are a constant disappointment to her mercenary handlers. When her oracle commands her to work with Pale, Jade sets out to prove herself, even if it means challenging the enigmatic shifter.
Yet Pale triggers more than her curiosity. He sends her into Heat, which could mean losing control of her gifts — something she can’t allow. As the number of victims rise, so does the danger. A murderous darkness wants them both dead. But even if they stop the killer, how long can they fight each other?
Hope you like it!
DT: Honestly, I’d say start with Burn For Me. I’m really proud of how it balances romance, humor, sensuality and plot. It’s actually third in the Rancho Del Cielo books, but I think really defines where my writing is headed from this point on. If you’d rather sample something smaller, just to try me out, look for Love Me Knots–it’s a novella. Both are hopefully a lot of fun.
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
DT: Well, apart from writing I’m also a web designer and a site host, so, if I wasn’t writing, I’d still be doing those and hanging out with my kids. I’d probably be a better cook, but that might be just wishful thinking.
DT: Ah, those Remingtons. Sigh. Well, the series is about what secrets can do to a family, and how healing might hurt, but usually, you end up with more than you ever thought possible.
The first book, Midnight Sonata, is about a billionaire who’s heart is broken in every way. That is, until he moves in next door to a widow and her son and discovers that while he had a life with money and ease, he was missing something only she could teach him. Love.
Midnight Temptation involves Raven, twin to the hero of Sonata, and a man whom everyone has spent years thinking the worst of. Until he encounters his assistant, Vanessa, who could teach him a thing or two about keeping secrets. But can these two wounded hearts find a way to each other?
Finally, there’s Midnight Legacy. Orphan Tara Sellers’ rough life in no way prepared her for discovering that she’s really the illegitimate heir of one of the richest families in the world. Thrust completely out of her element, she has no choice but to lean on a man she has no reason to trust. A man who wades in guilt because he knows he’s betraying that trust, no matter how he does his best to protect her. What neither of them realizes is that the real danger comes from a source neither of them could ever expect…
If you head to my website, you can read excerpts for each of them.
DC: What’s on the horizon for Dee Tenorio?
DT: Well, this fall, I have another novella coming out from Samhain called Shaken, about a couple on the precipice of divorce, trapped in an elevator after an earthquake. (Which, incidentally, happened the other day to a poor woman after the earthquake we just had in Cali, lol, so I kind of cheered that no one can complain about the validity, lol) After that, I’m working on a sequel to Tempting The Enemy and I’m hoping to have a few more releases out in 2011 as well.
– dark or milk chocolate? – Sadly, neither, I’m allergic, but I used to eat Dark by the pound.
– smooth or chunky peanut butter? – Depends on the jelly.
– heels or flats? – Heels. I feel short and dumpy in flats.
– coffee or tea? – Tea. Chamomile. With honey.
– summer or winter? – Winter. I love bundling up and grey weather is best for writing.
– mountains or beach? – I have to pick? I hate sand and I hate climbing, but I love the view in both. Luckily, I live in Southern California, meaning I have both every day.
– mustard or mayonnaise? – Mayo. Tho good mustard has it’s place.
– flowers or candy? – I love candy, but flowers melt me. Sadly, I kill them–black thumb–so most folks go with candy.
– pockets or purse? – Diaper bag–that thing is a bottomless pit.
– Pepsi or Coke? – Sprite. LOL.
– ebook or print? – Oh, that’s mean. There’s nothing like having your book in your hands, to touch and smell and rub on your cheek…but eBook is just more readily available, efficient, better for the environment and the royalty system is really quite a bit more rewarding for the authors. So, I suppose I’d say ebook. (But if my pubs want to print me, I won’t say no, lol)
And because we still enjoy the answers we get:
1. What is your favorite word? – ebullient
2. What is your least favorite word? – pain
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Clouds
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Abuse
5. What sound or noise do you love? – My kids’ laughter
6. What sound or noise do you hate? – metal grinding
7. What is your favorite curse word? – It’s a tie between “clusterfuck” and “fuckwit”. (They’re both just so much fun to say and both sound like cookies! LOL, can’t you see Girl Scouts selling those? Or am I just twisted?)
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – Painting
9. What profession would you not like to do? – sewer work
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? – “Well, now, you sure took your time…”
DC: Dee, what fun we had with you today! Thanks so much for dropping by!