Monday, December 2, 2013

Baby By Design VBT

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
Well, the basics? I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for eighteen years. We share our lives with two teen boys, a preteen girl, a Maine Coon cat, and a Boston terrier. I love chocolate, baseball, and wine. If I can have it all at the same time, I’m thrilled. I’m a big believer in positive energy and the idea that our lives reflect the things we think about most, which sort of explains why I write what I do. I’m all about happy endings and people not taking life so dismally serious.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I’ve been writing for about fourteen years. I spent over a decade as a non-fiction writer and editor. I’ve been writing romance for about three years now. In January 2013, I signed my first contract. Since then I have sold eleven books all in the contemporary romance genre. Five are currently available.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
It’s funny to be asked this question today, because this has been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. As my schedule clears toward the end of 2014, I may experiment with another genre, but contemporary romance will always be my main focus.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
After years of pantsing, I plot now. I have to. I’m writing a book every couple months, and I have to stay focused and tight to meet my deadlines. Pantsing for me led to lots of tangents and middles without direction. My poor critique partner! She’s a saint for the wandering storylines she’s put up with over the years.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
Writing is my priority on the weekdays. I’m up with the dog at 6:30 a.m., say my goodbyes to the hubby and kids around 7:30, and then spend a couple hours taking care of household and personal things before sitting down to write by 10. I write strictly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., usually at my dining table, because the dog is contained to the first floor of the house, and this room is centrally located so I can keep an eye on her. She’s only a year old, and she can get into a lot of trouble with the cat.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
My must-buys are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, and Susan Andersen. My all-time favorite author is Judith McNaught. I can’t name a favorite book. I’ve tried before, and I change my mind too much. I’ve read too many great ones to single one out and stick to it.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year? I’d like to beat my highest Amazon e-book rank, which was 32 overall and 11 in contemporary romance.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be? I would love to be able to teleport anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have? I’d have a genie in a bottle, and I would keep that boy very busy.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
Baby by Design is the first book in a new series called Designing Love. This book centers around Trish DeVign, who owns a thriving interior design business, and her best friend’s brother, Tony Corcarelli, who does some contract upholstery work for her. Trish is a type-A, good girl, who’s a little hung up on the fact she doesn’t have any biological connections in the world. (She’s adopted.) Tony is a tattooed, Harley driving, lover of a good time, who’s just been dealt a blow—his grandmother is dying of ovarian cancer. Trish wants a child and to give that child the family ties she’s never had. Tony wants a joyous gesture to help ease his grandmother’s pain. Could making a baby together be the answer? It’s a fun look at family and the extents people will go to be a part of one.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
A big, bold cabernet sauvignon. (Okay, let’s be honest. I COULD live without it, but I wouldn’t want to. Drinking wine is a full-body experience for me. It touches all five senses and is a meditation in and of itself.

Could you ever co-author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write? Lol! No. My critique partner and I had this conversation not too long ago, and we both agreed we wouldn’t survive the collaboration. I have great respect for people who co-author, but it’s not for me.

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?
I’d spend my day with Jesus, and not because I’m religious. I don’t claim an organized religion, but I was raised Catholic. I am however dedicated to my spiritual growth, and I’d love to spend time with someone who has been touted as the pinnacle of love and kindness. We would walk in the woods together or on the beach, and before we parted ways I’d ask for a great, big hug. I’ve always had this feeling he’d be an awesome hugger.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I’m a wanna-be interior designer. I subscribe to too many homes magazines. I watch too much HGTV. I’ve designed my own kitchen and project managed my own renovations. I even have friends who hire me (payment in wine) to consult with them on their homes. Wine is also a big hobby (obviously). I’m in the process of building a climate-controlled wine closet so I can really step up my collecting. Some things that have been a big part of me through the years are singing, playing piano and painting. Right now, those creative endeavors take a back seat to the writing deadlines.

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?
I’ve always wanted to go to Napa Valley, but I haven’t, because I’m afraid to fly, which is funny, because I’ve done it lots of times before. I haven’t flown since I left my non-fiction writing job four years ago. The longer I wait, the harder it is to convince myself to get on a plane.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Every book I read I wonder what it would look like as a movie. I’d have to say something historical. Maybe A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh. I can see it being very beautiful and dreamy with incredible outdoor scenes and costumes.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish I could dance, not just to perform, but so simply walking would be an act of grace.

Favorite color?
At the moment? Gray. I think it’s more than just a pleasing, soft neutral. It’s also a reminder that life is not black and white—it’s somewhere in the middle.

Weather: Hot or cold?
Cold! I love cold weather clothes, snuggling under blankets, and sitting by the fire.

Favorite place to read?
Poolside or lakeside with a glass of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc in hand.

Favorite meal:
I love a good brick oven pizza, especially margherita DOC.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink:
Green tea, hot or cold

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’d love to go to one of those remote, tropical islands where people stay in hut hovering above the crystal blue water. Of course, I’d have to fly to get there…and I’d have to get over my fear of tidal waves, so it’s not looking good. Ha!

Baby By Design
By: Elley Arden
Trish DeVign knows what she needs to be single, successful and satisfied. She needs a baby. With recent relationships falling short of her expectations, she’s single by choice. With a thriving interior design company, she’s got successful covered. It’s the satisfied part that eludes her, and that’s her mother’s fault-not her adopted mother, but the mother who gave her away, sentencing her to a privileged life with two good people who don’t share with her a single drop of DNA. Refusing to grow old bitter, Trish decides a baby will calm the restlessness and lead her to true happiness. Instead, it leads straight to her best friend’s brother.
Tony Corcarelli has spent his adult life as the black sheep of his large Italian-American family. The nickname became permanent when he took a buyout from his sister rather than run the family carpentry company after his father’s death. Now, Tony’s grandmother has cancer, and he’s expected to join the family in making her wishes come true. Unfortunately, the two things Nonna wants most for Tony, are two things he can’t fathom-a wife and kids or the priesthood. There has to be another way.
When Trish asks Tony to escort her to a wedding, a night of fun and flirtation turns serious, with Trish confessing she wants a baby-Tony’s baby. Could a calculated conception be the answer he’s looking for? Thrown together by a carefully constructed yet cockamamie plan, Trish and Tony struggle to define terms they didn’t expect to become so complicated. But what if neither disapproving family members nor Nonna’s rapidly declining health is their biggest complication? What if it’s love?

Review Rating: 3.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: Hear that? It's ticking....Is that a biological clock?

No, not particularly. Trish doesn't want a baby just because of her biological clock. She is single, and wants a blood relative to call her own. See, she's adopted, and as much as she loves her family, she needs someone that has a blood relation to her. And of course, babies are special, lovable and wonderful. So where's the prospects?

Not there, of course. 

So, enter her best friend's brother. He's hot, single, and yeah, she's attracted to him. Has been for a long time. But he's kind of a player and sometimes a jerk and her best friend would KILL her!  Until he escorts her to a wedding and things change, for the both of them.

Trish and Tony have some sparks, but neither of them are sure where to go from there. They've known each other for years, and of course there's the fact that Tony's sister doesn't want them together because he's a jerk. yeah, complication, complications.

The story is light, fun, humorous and full of great characters. It's a bit of a typical romance, but an enjoyable one. 

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Author Info  
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

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  1. Sometimes telling white lies are the lesser of two evils, so yes, I have.

  2. I think everyone has at one point in their life. There is no way of getting around it at times. If it is not a white lie that is going to cause them pain or hurt them physically, and will avoid you from hurting them emotionally, I think it is acceptable.