Kris will give a digital copy of one of her back list at each tour stop. At the end of the tour Kris will give away a grand prize, the grand prize will be a digital copy of all 4 of her books from her backlist, winner will be selected from all of the commenters throughout the tour.
Older homes – what attracts you or distracts you from them?
I grew up in an old house (a very cold one!) and I’ve lived in an oldie ever since we married. Mind you, we’ve built on four times, so pieces of it are a lot newer. What do I like? I pretty much like the things Jetta in OUT OF BOUNDS likes. The higher ceilings with their deep cornices and fancy plaster moldings. The diamond-paned leadlight windows. The bigger rooms. And of course, being built earlier they’re on the best pieces of land, closest to the town centre, and with the nicest views.
I live in New Zealand, and nothing is too old here. Our house dates back to 1913, and there aren’t many houses built before 1880 that are still standing. I remember being in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK and marvelling at the saggy 500-year-old buildings – and wondering how they’d survived so long despite fire risk, insect damage etc.
On the downside though – yes, they’re cold because they were built without proper insulation. They need a lot of retro-fitting now because people expect warm air inside their houses – not to be told to ‘put another jersey on’ like my mother always said to me and my sister when we complained.
How much research did you have to do?
Not much at all for this book. My husband and I own a small decor company and we’re in different houses ever day. We work with lots of decorators and architects, and see amazing restorations and renovations.
However, I did need to research the New Zealand incest laws, and some other legal bits which I won’t describe or I’ll spoil the plot.
I had an absolute surprise a few days ago. We’d been asked to do some work in a very grand old house only a few minutes from where we live. I’d always wanted a look inside! And when I walked through the huge front door I stopped dead. I’d been there before. It was exactly the house I’d invented for an upcoming book called Unwanted Husband, Unwilling Wife. The polished timber floors with their scattering of antique rugs, the big central staircase and the top-floor gallery, the billiard room, the amazing paintings. (Actually, I need to chase that book because Harlequin have had three chapters for nearly a year now. Maybe it’s another one they’ve lost…) Is it any wonder I’ve taken up self-publishing so everything’s tightly under my control!
What genres do you read? Must-reads?
I prefer contemporary to historical. I grew up reading a huge amount of sci-fi, but I’ve left that behind. Mind you, some of the new paranormal books are amazing. Kylie Griffin’s Vengeance Born and Alliance Forged for instance. Loved The Hunger Games. I adore Lisa Kleypas beyond anyone. I’ve just finished her “Dream Lake”. How can a ghost evoke such incredible sympathy? Jill Shalvis. Rachel Gibson. And Catherine Robinson – a friend who currently has the No 1 slot in the New Zealand fiction market with her second book ‘The No-So-Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence’.
I could go on and on, but I think I’ll give you a taste of my own writing instead. This excerpt is from OUT OF BOUNDS, and Jetta is giving architect Anton her views on his work:
He uncorked the bottle and leaned over her shoulder. Wine foamed into the two glasses, and he handed one to her. “To the future—whatever it holds.”
She nodded, and took a sip. “Whatever it holds,” she repeated.
He walked stiffly round the table and sat, telling himself it was just the black lace, just those snug trousers, just the unexpected sparkle in her big eyes… “What would you like your future to hold?” he asked, by way of distraction.
Jetta tipped her head on one side and half-closed those same big dark eyes that attracted him against his will. “A trip to New York first of all. There’s a design school there with an impressive reputation. With a qualification from them, I’ll be much closer to achieving what I want. My own decorating studio. ”
“Back here in New Zealand?”
“Absolutely. Specializing in heritage work for people who want to restore older houses. Not necessarily homes on the Historic Places Register—but maybe some of the big turn-of-the-century mansions in Thorndon and Kelburn. And the pretty Edwardian houses, and twenties and thirties bungalows like Gran’s.”
“Whatever.” The expression in her eyes switched from dreamy to exasperated, and she set down her glass too hard and turned her attention to the selection of deli goodies. Anton felt dismissed, and didn’t like it.
After a too-long silence she asked, “What are your plans?”
He watched her across the table as she picked up morsels of food and set them on her plate. Even before he tasted his champagne, his reality seemed to have shifted. The morning’s dusty and shocked caterpillar had transformed herself into a self-possessed and beautiful butterfly. And his body assured him it liked the change. Would be happy to get to know the pretty butterfly who fluttered just out of reach, but temptingly close.
He brought his glass to his nose and savored the wine’s bouquet to buy more time. Took a gulp. Swallowed deeply. “Ten years ago I’d have said ‘to be a partner in a really good architectural practice’ but things change. I’ve achieved that, and now I find my heart’s in property development. More risk, more money, but I get to build more of what I want. Clean modern buildings. Right at the cutting edge of style.”
“Cold and faceless, you mean?”
He wouldn’t let her get away with that. “Innovative. Aesthetically right for the twenty-first century. Eco efficient. Vigorous functional designs that are people-friendly.”
“People-friendly!” Jetta scoffed. “Brutal, ugly, dehumanising buildings, if you ask me.”
“What’s ‘dehumanising’ about Ballentine Park Mews? I’m making ideal use of the land.”
“Everyone jammed so tightly together…”
“You need never see your neighbors if you don’t want to; I’ve planned total privacy. The apartments will be double glazed, properly insulated, and thermal efficiency will keep the need for artificial heating to a minimum. More than you can say for some of those draughty old rabbit warrens you seem so fond of.”
Her eyebrows winged up. “But they’re so beautiful,” she insisted. “The high ceilings and deep cornices, the wide stairways with their carved banisters, the generous spaces…”
“All of which are wasteful.”
“So you think everyone should live in white painted, hard-surfaced, glass fronted, square-stopped boxes?”
He caught the twitch of her mouth and the glimmer of mirth in her eyes just in time. “Stop winding me up,” he said, enjoying the thrust and parry of their argument more than he should be. She was the enemy. She was the one who just hours ago had treated him as though he was a loathsome liar trying to steal her home.
Now she sat at his table, eating food and drinking wine that he’d provided, looking pretty damn edible herself. And he wondered how else he could impress her.
God—if she could see what was refusing to die down in his pants she’d be impressed…
Question: What is the name of the apartment block Anton is planning?
Jetta Rivers has inherited half a house. Big problem: she has to share it with co-owner Anton Haviland, and her past has left her terrified of men. Gorgeous Anton is a confident sexy architect, and he might be exactly who Jetta needs to put her crippling fear to rest. But can she allow him close enough? And would he even want to try? A midnight disaster leaves her no option when he drags her off to the only bed left in the now-damaged house. She’s appalled to find how much she craves the man who plans to smash her inheritance to pieces, and Anton’s equally shocked when his sharp-tempered housemate attempts to seduce him. WARNING: Contains one ambitious man with a tender heart and a body to die for. And one unlikely temptress with an ancient copy of The Joy of Sex.
I loved this book. I love old houses. I wish I lived in an old house and this book just made me that much more determined to live in an old house one day. *sigh*
Anton started off being a pig but as I got to know him, I grew to love him. I like it when the hero starts off on the wrong foot with this reader but watching him grow and be the adorable person that he comes to be with worth it. Give a multi-layered hero any day. I connected with him on so many levels. He only wants whats best for him at the time but with the help of Jetta he sees what he really needs in the end. *sigh*
Jetta is a woman that I would love to have as a friend. She flawed and had some awful things happen to her when she was younger. As she worked through them, with a help of tried and true book, she comes into her own. Beautiful done and wonderfully written. She meets her match with Anton but what a sexy match he is.
The back drop of the old house only enhances the story and makes for great dialogue and character growth. Who know that an old house could do that?
I highly recommend Out of Bounds for the multi-layered character developement, the sexiness of Anton and and old house that was destined to bring two unlikely people together. Bravo Ms. Pearson.
5 Smiles and a recommended read