Friday, September 6, 2013

**GIVEAWAY** Say Yes To The Duke + Interview with USA Today Bestselling author Kieran Kramer


Today I welcome to The Reading Frenzy USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer who when I asked "Can you tell us how you went from the CIA to being an author (or will you have to kill us)?" She said––––"...I make a lot of decisions based on daydreams I have about what I want to do. And being in the CIA was one of them. So was becoming an author. I managed to fit both of those dreams in between my biggest dream, which is to be part of creating a loving family of my own...."
See her complete answer and enter to win a copy of the novel Say Yes To The Duke below.





  • ISBN-13: 9781250009906
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Series: House of Brady Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 355

 






I HAVE ONE COPY OF SAY YES TO THE DUKE
FOR A GIVEAWAY
SPONSORED BY ST. MARTIN'S PRESS
ENTER BELOW USING THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM
CONTEST IS FOR US RESIDENTS ONLY
GOOD LUCK!!





Overview: SAY YES TO THE DUKE Kieran Kramer
Janice Sherwood wants to marry for love, but she’s failed to make a match after two Seasons. Her parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Brady, arrange to send her to the Duke of Halsey’s country estate as a short-term guest of his grandmother, the dowager, in hopes that she might win the duke’s affections.
Praise for Kieran Kramer: Readers will be up all night before drifting off to dream of a love story like this.”—RT Book Reviews

“Kramer scores with the inaugural House of Brady imbroglio…Though [she] includes her characteristic lighthearted touches, she’s smart and confident enough to take her characters and their situations seriously, turning what could have been a one-line joke into a deep and appealing story.” —Publishers Weekly

“Clever banter, stellar pacing, and appealing, exceptionally well-drawn characters make this fresh, sexy, and gloriously funny debut a knockout and a perfect start to Kramer’s Regency-set quartet.” —Library Journal (starred review)


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Welcome Kieran Kramer USA Today bestselling author to The Reading Frenzy

Kieran tell us about your latest novel, Say Yes To The Duke:
It’s a Regency romance about the middle sister, the one who believes that being a people pleaser is her only option when it comes to likeability. Her older sister is the It Girl, and her younger sister is adorable. So Lady Janice Sherwood sort of gives up and decides that she might as well just go along with what’s expected of her--not make any ripples, you know? She honestly believes that she should say Yes to the Duke because that’s what’s done. Dukes get their way. But she discovers that she’s most attractive to others when she stays true to herself, when she loves herself first. Luke, a groom in the duke’s stables, is instrumental in helping her learn this lesson. 

Likewise, Janice helps Luke with his own inner struggle, which is that he doesn’t feel worthy to claim his own greatness. He’ll do anything to help others. But for much of the book, he’s hiding—literally—from acknowledging that he has the power to own his dreams and make them a reality. Janice helps rip those blinders off his eyes. And in between, there’s lots of fun with secondary characters and some spicy sexy scenes!!! ;-)


Kieran your bio is a must read in itself.
Can you tell us how you went from the CIA to being an author (or will you have to kill us)?
Hah! No, I won’t have to kill you as it’s been SO long since I was at the CIA.  

My parents taught us that life is a big adventure and that we can go for our dreams and not worry about failing. If we do, so what? We pick ourselves up and start again. So I make a lot of decisions based on daydreams I have about what I want to do. And being in the CIA was one of them. So was becoming an author. I managed to fit both of those dreams in between my biggest dream, which is to be part of creating a loving family of my own. I feel extremely blessed to have a great husband and three wonderful children. Life is never easy, so even when you achieve your dreams, there are sticky wickets to deal with, of course. I’ve had extreme challenges, like every other person. But I do believe that if we wake up each day with hope and gratitude, anything is possible.



On your website’s heading it says “Love changes everything…”
How has love changed you?
When you live right here in the now—with every bit of pain, sorrow, joy, wonder, and fear that you have—love is the salve for those fears, the knot in the end of your rope when you’re stressed, and the glass of water when you’re thirsty for comfort and understanding. It’s THERE, waiting to prop you up. But it requires a leap of faith on your part, an exertion of will. You must choose to love yourself and others first, in all your imperfect glory. This is a humbling, scary choice. But it’s worth it because then love finds you wherever you are. 

I’ve learned that when I am at my lowest, there is still something deep within me that’s whole and sustaining. That’s love. And when I tap into it, all my problems turn into something softer, more relatable, and fixable. Family life has taught me that more than anything. We can go through traumas and disasters and fights, yet when the smoke clears and the rubble is swept away, we’re still there, needing each other and willing and anxious to love each other.

We’re amazing creatures, we humans. We truly are made for love. 

So why historical and more specific Regency romance?
From the very beginning, I’ve written both Regency and contemporary. But I’d say that I chose Regency because I love the eccentricity of character and coziness of setting I find in Jane Austen’s novels. I’ve also always been an Anglophile, having grown up with an English nanny. And who doesn’t love the witty repartee and glamorous glimpse into the lives of the privileged in Regency England? The people in that rarified atmosphere were no different than anyone else, of course. Look at Mr. Darcy. He was obviously insecure beneath the trappings of all that wealth. 

I like to peel away the layers, and I’m most attracted to revealing the humor in any situation, as well as the poignancy of it. Those two states can co-exist, you know, and when one feeds upon the other in a really good story, I can’t help but sigh with satisfaction as I close the book. I love a good chuckle, to bite my thumb in anticipation of a great romantic scene, even to wipe away a tear when I read—and write.

I enjoy contemporary novel writing for the same reason: I like to indulge in character drawing, usually fairly larger-than-life people. Yes, the time and settings are different, obviously, from Regency England, but people are people, across the years. The wife of a soldier at Waterloo was as nervous about his safety as a modern-day spouse of a Navy jet pilot would be when that pilot is flying over Afghanistan. Young girls out shopping in 1819 were no doubt as happy to be browsing through a rack of ribbons as teenaged girls today are walking into American Eagle and rifling through a rack of tennis shirts.



Who from that era would you most want to have a conversation with?
Jane Austen. Oh, that would be so fun! And my second choice would be Prinny. I’d like to have dinner with both of them and attend a card party afterward—with Jane, in the country, and with the Prince Regent, in Brighton or London. 



Kieran, you are part of a blog team of authors called peanut butter on the keyboard.
How did you connect with these authors?
Well, a friend and I were working on our own mom writer website, but she had to back out. So I happened to know Shana Galen and Elise Rome, and I saw what they were up to creating Peanut Butter on the Keyboard. I asked if I could join them and provide the perspective of the mom with older kids! Most of them have younger ones. It’s been a wonderful experience. 



Kieran, this is your seventh book, eighth if you count your novella.
Has being published changed the way you write?
Yes, being published has sped up my writing process considerably. When I’m on deadline, I can’t dawdle and rationalize away my lack of pages. I have to produce! Yet I’ve noticed that the books I write now, under deadline, are actually better than the ones I lingered over for years. There’s a certain wonderful energy in writing something under deadline that I lacked when no one was demanding the story!!!  



On that subject can you tell us your first thoughts when you learned you sold your first novel?
My first thought was one of gratitude. I felt enormously lucky. And then my second thought was all about sharing the news with family and friends. So I literally ran up and down the street with my kids running behind me to tell the neighbors, all while I was talking on my cell phone to my sisters. My third thought was that I was finally where I wanted to be professionally, and I saw in my mind a lush green landscape of opportunity with sunshine and butterflies and blue skies. 

The reality of being a working writer is quite different from what I imagined, but the gratitude is still there—even more so as I go along—and the optimism about creating ever-better stories hasn’t waned, either. What I didn’t know at the time was that I’d have to become a businesswoman as well as a writer. I wasn’t quite prepared for the ancillary issues, such as marketing and promotion, networking, budgeting, etc. But it’s all worth it. I still relish the fact that I write for such a fine publishing house, St. Martin’s Press, and for one of the world’s great editors, Jennifer Enderlin. I’m also extremely grateful to have a lovely agent in Jenny Bent.



What’s next?
Ah hah! Great question! I’m taking a hiatus from my beloved Regency period and writing a contemporary romance novel called SWEET TALK ME. It’s Southern and fun and I’m loving it. As I mentioned earlier, from the very beginning of my career, I wanted to write contemporary, too. So now is a good time—after seven Regencies—to introduce that side of my storytelling to romance readers. I hope my historical readers will follow me over, and maybe I’ll connect with new readers, too! 



Will you be promoting this novel where fans could meet you in person?
I haven’t signed up for any book signings for SAY YES TO THE DUKE yet, but I inevitably do, and when I do, I post the times and location on my website. I love meeting reader friends in person! I’m always at Romance Writers of America annual literacy signing. The next one is in the summer of 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. 



Kieran thank you for taking the time to chat here today. Good luck with this novel and all the future ones too!!
Thank you so much. It was a lot of fun being here, and I wish for you and all your readers many hours of reading bliss! 





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