Friday, June 21, 2013

VBT: Interview with Candis Terry + Anything But Sweet Review

I am so excited to bring Candis Terry back to Storm Goddess Book Reviews! I contacted Candis a few years ago after finishing her first book, Second Chance at the Sugar Shack. I was blown away by her small town romance and invited her to come to hang out with me. Well, now she's back and this time I've got Candis in the interview hot seat. Ooooh! *Rubs hands together*  

Please help me give a BIG welcome to the wonderful Candis Terry!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.

First of all, thanks for letting me stop by today, I’m really excited to be here. For those who don’t know me I’m the author of the Sugar Shack novels and the new Sweet, Texas series–all are small town contemporary romances with a hint of quirkiness, a lot of heart and soul, and very often, some culinary delights (recipes are on my website!).

SG: I'm glad to have you today! I love your stories!

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

I started writing when my daughter was just four years old. She just turned twenty-eight. That first book (a historical romance) took me over three years to write. It wasn’t until after I typed The End that I realized I did not have a historical voice. Not even a little. Until the day I sold my first book I’d been writing for 22 years. So I always tell everyone never ever give up!

Anything But Sweet— the first in my new Sweet, Texas contemporary romance series—will be released on June 25 and it will be my fourth full-length book. I also have a short story titled Home Sweet Home which was published in the For Love and Honor anthology with Cathy Maxwell and Lynne Hinton and also in the Crazy Sweet Fine anthology with Rachel Gibson and Jennifer Bernard. Home Sweet Home introduces the town of Sweet, Texas to readers.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

Currently I’m sticking to writing small town contemporary romances because the genre fits my voice so well. However, I never-say-never and one day I may give into my dark side and write something completely different. As I’ve said before, I’ve got more stories up my sleeve than freckles. And I have a ton of those!

SG: I know what you mean. It seems for every story written, there's like ten more plotting in the mind!

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?

I’d have to say I’ve evolved. I used to be a total pantser. But now that I write on proposal, I need to know what the theme of the story will be and all the plot points. Yet I’m still surprised at some of the twists and turns that my stories take, so I guess I’m going to have to consider myself a plotser—I’m half and half.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

Until very recently I worked a full-time day job as a graphic designer. I would work until four o’clock, come home, grab something to eat, then write until around midnight. Now I get up around seven a.m. make a quick breakfast and cup of coffee then go in and do the business part of my writing job. If I’m really doing great with the self-control (and staying off Facebook), that only takes about an hour (but I’m horrible at self-control!). Then I write for the rest of the day. And by that I mean I may write until midnight depending on if I’m closing in on a deadline. Luckily I have a very understanding husband. Of course I won’t mention all the “breaks” I take to walk outside and around our farm, or talk to my dogs CJ and Maddie, or sit and listen to the many birds we have that seem to like to hang out at our place. I live in a Birds of Prey area so that includes owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, hummingbirds, and numerous songbirds. I guess I shouldn’t blame them that they distract me.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?

Who don’t I love to read? Reading as a kid literally kept me sane in my seriously dysfunctional family. I devoured books and still do. We could be here all day if I decided to name all my favorite authors and books. A few who come to mind are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Jill Shalvis, Kristin Higgins, Janet Evanovich, J.R. Ward, Teri Garey, Kerrylyn Sparks, Coreene Callahan, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, Dean Koontz, and of course, Nora Roberts.

SG: Eclectic. I like that! 

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

I would love to see my books translated into German and other foreign languages. I have so many amazing readers from around the world. However, I’m not sure how well my books would translate because I am the queen of slang. But that is something I would really like to accomplish. After that I would like to do a really fun holiday anthology. And then there’s the children’s book I promised my granddaughter (who is an avid reader) that I’d write so . . . basically I need more hours in the day.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Would you think I was weird if I said I might actually have one? I’ve always been very sensitive to people who no longer exist in this world. Call it an overactive imagination (like my husband does) or whatever you want, but I have had some very spooky and very weirdly cool experiences in my day. And though I’m not ready to say “I see dead people” I can’t discount the things that have come my way. So if I could choose one it would be to see dead people. There are a lot of folks who have some ‘splainin’ to do.

SG: I understand that...Those things are definitely hard to explain to some people, but I get it. 

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Wow! Good question. I’d probably have to go with Pegasus because he would make traveling so much more fun and look really good doing it. And also because he is a friend of the muses and sometimes my muse severely misbehaves. Like she totally disappears on me. So hopefully Pegasus and her could have a little chitty chat and she would always be on call. Like even at midnight when I know its time to go to bed but I still have a chapter to finish.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Gladly! I am really excited about Anything But Sweet. It’s a story about former Marine and cowboy Reno Wilder—a man who has lost everything and is adamant about keeping things exactly the same because he fears change means more loss—and Charlotte Brooks, a makeover show host/designer who comes into his life and literally wants to change everything. To say they butt heads is an understatement. But Charli (Charlotte) sees something inside Reno she believes is worth fighting for and she manages to pull him back into the living. She is the most bubbly and lively heroine I’ve ever written and I truly love her. I’m so glad that I get to write a whole series because that means I get to see more of Reno and Charli as time goes on.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

Pets. I love animals and since I was a kid I’ve always had a fur kid or fur friend to share my life with. Which I guess is why I always have animals as very active secondary characters in my books. I was once owned by a cat named Tyson who was the model for Oscar in my book Any Given Christmas. I never told Tyson he was a cat so he didn’t act like one. I lost him almost twenty-six years ago and I still miss him every day.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

Hmm. I’ve never given that any thought. I guess the bigger question would be could anyone ever write with me? Because I can be all over the danged place like a leaping monkey!

SG: I accept the challenge..LOL...wait, that wasn't an invite, was it? *Wink*

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

Yikes! Another good question. I would probably say Marilyn Monroe. I would love to make a beachside picnic lunch for her and just watch the persona that she’d developed. She’s always fascinated me. What would I ask her? “So, how about those Kennedys?”

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?

I love the outdoors. My family and I spend a lot of our time camping, fishing, ATVing, and enjoying the beautiful Idaho Wilderness. I also garden but I’ll admit I’m not very good at it. But I keep trying and I have a huge country garden to prove it. And I love to collect antiques. Not the big expensive things but the small things where you have to ask “What the heck is that?” Oh, and my granddaughter and I love to make fairy gardens together.

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?

I’d like to take a trip to Scotland and look into my family heritage. The timing, opportunity, and expense have never been right. But one of these days . . .

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?

I’ve always been very intrigued by the Civil War so I’d choose Nora Roberts’ One Wore Blue or One Wore Grey. I loved those books! Or I’d choose my own book, Second Chance at the Sugar Shack, because I would love to see snarky, wacky Letty Silverthorne light up the screen!

SG: Oooh, Second Chance at the Sugar Shack would make a kick but movie!

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Playing the piano like Liberace. Minus the gaudy outfits.

Favorite color?
Honestly I am very fickle when it comes to a favorite color. For me it changes daily. Today it happens to be pink. Tomorrow, I’m thinking sunflower yellow.

Weather: Hot or cold?
Hot. Like I said I’m outdoorsy. And while I love to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a good book, I love to hop on the ATV and explore the wilderness. I have seen some amazing places. Just this last weekend I saw so many waterfalls I lost count!

Favorite place to read?
Bed. I cannot go to sleep at night without reading first. I cannot and I will not. I read until literally the book or my Kindle falls from my hands because I’ve zonked out.

Favorite meal
Steak, shrimp, and a baked potato. Or a big fat juicy hamburger and deep fried onion rings. Or pizza. Sheesh. Can you tell I’m on a diet?

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Coffee or some derivative of coffee–lattes, mochas. Mmmmm.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
Definitely Scotland. And I would want to stay in every haunted castle I could find. Yeah, go ahead, call me crazy.

SG: I'd go too! I want to check out haunted castles! Hey, might make some great inspiration for a book or two!

A man who doesn’t like change . . . The Wilder family is something of a Sweet, TX institution: between their yearly BBQ blow-outs and their Hardware and Feed store, they’re an institution—an institution that ex-marine Reno Wilder has tried to preserve, in honor of his lost loved ones. But it seems like he’s the only one who’s got any respect left for traditions when a new TV makeover show rolls in to renovate Sweet to bring in more tourists. Everyone is pleased except Reno—and this cowboy is determined to keep everything just the way he likes it.
A woman who wants to change everything . . .
Inquisitive. Stubborn. Smart. Drop dead gorgeous. That would be makeover show host and designer, Charlotte Brooks—the woman Reno has declared war against. And yet, he can’t seem to keep away from her, or to get her off his mind. Charlotte isn’t afraid to back down from a challenge—of any kind—and she’s promised to prove to Reno that change can be sexy, hot, and very, very sweet, if Reno and Charli learn to let go of their pasts and grab hold of a future full of promise.

Review Rating: 5 LIGHTNING BOLTS

REVIEW:  Changes are coming...Changes Reno Wilder doesn't care to have in his hometown of Sweet, Texas.  Enter Charli- she's the woman with the driving force behind some of these changes, and Reno won't go down without a fight.

That much is true. What he doesn't expect is a pull to this woman that's about to wreak havoc on his town that Reno doesn't feel needs change.  Oh, but the sparks will soon fly. From the sparks of anger and frustration to the sparks that are undeniable.  Neither of the two want this kind of pull to the other, but it's happening.

I officially dub Candis Terry the Queen of Small town romances. If you haven't read any of her works, you need to get on the ball and do it now!  There is something fresh and exciting about Ms. Terry's stories that brings a smile to your face, a few tears in your eyes, and all around a great feeling of love, family, friendships and finding that happily ever after.

Charlie and Reno are so opposite, but their attraction builds slowly. These two definitely don't care for the other at first, but as they spend more time together in Sweet, they find that maybe something could happen after all. If only Reno could let go of the heartaches that haunt his mind, and if Charli didn't have such a stubborn streak a mile wide.   

The characters are so well created. Not just Reno and Charli, but also the secondary cast of characters. I felt right at home with the Wilders. I love Reno's brothers, and I would love to sit down and have fun and conversations with his mom!  I'm looking forward to coming back to this beautiful little town of Sweet, and getting to know more of the Wilders. Well done, Candis! You stole my heart with another contemporary story made me smile, laugh and cry.  Highly recommended from me! 

Buy Links

Author Info

Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

Author Links

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  1. Thank you for hosting today! GREAT Interview with Candis...and I agree...QUEEN OF SMALL TOWN ROMANCES!

  2. Good morning! And Wow! You stole my breath with that review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. From the start I knew Reno and Charli were going to be fun to write. But I'll admit there were a couple of scenes where I had to stop writing and let my heart stop aching. Or stop laughing.

    I'll gladly take the title of Queen of Small Town Romances! Thank you!

    I definitely do feet-on-the-ground research so if you have any questions about where I come up with all the stuff I put into my fictitious small towns, ask away. Or any other question would be great. I'm an open book. Ha!

  3. I love your cover and I've lived in small towns all my life. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

    1. I live in a small town too, Karen. Love it!

      And thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sounds like a great read! What a fun interview too! I wish you all the best!


    1. Thank you Melissa! Glad you enjoyed.

  5. Really enjoyed the interview. I like finding out more about how authors write -- when, where, how - and why. And I like finding that they are 'normal' people, too.

    I'm looking forward to reading "Anything But Sweet". Is the town of Sweet modeled after an actual town? I grew up in what I tho't was a small town in New Mexico - Tucumcari - before we moved in Albuquerque when I was in High School. And, in the past 15 yrs have lived in small towns in Oklahoma as my hubby is a United Methodist pastor.

    1. Hi Donna! I'm not sure I'd call me "normal". Or at least don't tell my friends and family that, I like to keep them guessing. :)

      I wake up everyday and have to go feed the cow. In the past it's been horses, chickens, and sheep too. And believe me, it's hard to get a big head when a sheep sneezes on you!

      Like my fictitious town Deer Lick, Montana in my Sugar Shack books, the town of Sweet is a compilation of several actual towns in Texas Hill Country. Boerne, Comfort, and Gruene were the ones that stood out the most when I imagined it in my head.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll enjoy the book!

  6. Nice interview. I love the cover.

    1. Thank you Kim! I love the cover too! When they first showed it to me I was excited because it was so different than anything I'd seen. Best of all it was red!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Wow! I am loving blurb & review of this book! I would love to read it!! Thank you for the chance at winning a copy!
    ag_girl76 at yahoo dot com

  8. I love this interview! :) Always so happy to find new to me authors! I'm definitely going to check out your work! :) Thanks!

    1. Hope you'll enjoy it Peaces of Me!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Thanks so much for the spotlight on Candis books - I have this series on my Nook but haven't had a chance to read them yet but I've heard great things about them. Thanks for the interview - love discovering info on authors

    1. Thank you Maria. I truly hope you'll enjoy the books. And thank you so much for dropping by today.

  10. Well, I'm late to the party, no surprise there. Book sounds wonderful. Fabulous review. However, you should reconsider wanting to see dead people. (Do you realize how many people have died?) Far more than currently lives. Do you really want to see all of them?

  11. Love the cover art & the book blurb. I, too, am a fan of small town romances. Can't wait to read this! Thanks for the review!