Wednesday, January 20, 2016

**GIVEAWAY** Interview/Review Christy Jeffiries - Waking Up Wed (Sugar Falls Idaho #2)

I'd like to welcome to the blog today an author I review for the Harlequin Special Edition line. She has a wonderful storytelling voice and she proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because she's got a mom in the biz too.
Enjoy our chat, my review of Waking Up Wed and then Christy is sponsoring a Giveaway for a chance to win a copy for yourself. Details below.

Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 1/19/2016
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound


Forget about her reputation. Kylie Chatterson is most definitely not that kind of girl. She's a conscientious CPA who has never even been with a man…that way. But when she wakes up in a Nevada hotel room after her friend's bachelorette party, the best man is in her bed…and he's wearing a wedding ring. And guess what: so is she!
For better or worse, Drew Gregson is now her husband. The hunky military psychologist doesn't remember the night any more than she does. Nevertheless, he seems in no hurry to end their impulsive betrothal. As she gets to know Drew and his adorable, squirmy nephews, Kylie has to remind herself this is all temporary—and pretend. Or could it be the best mistake she ever made?

The Giveaway is for
One Print Copy US ONLY
of Waking Up Wed
Please use Rafflecopter form below to enter
Good Luck!

Read en Excerpt:

Every morning for the first thirty years of her life, Kylie Chatterson had woken up alone. Until today.
She'd barely rolled over on the hotel's plush mattress when her sleepy eyes did a double take at the fair-haired, angelic-looking man snuggled up beside her.
Who in the world was he—and how in the world had he gotten here?
His muscular body was chiseled like the marble statue of a Greek god, but this work of art was warmer and much more real. The brutal morning sun intruded through the wide-open curtains she'd obviously neglected to close, shedding unnecessary light on her growing sense of shame.
Kylie held her breath, commanding her body to stay still so her spinning head could add up all the facts.
Fact one. She'd flown to Reno for her friend's coed bachelor/ette party yesterday. This was definitely the room she'd checked into because her fuchsia cheetah-print suitcase was haphazardly propped on the luggage rack at the foot of the bed. So at least she was where she was supposed to be. That was good.
Fact two. She remembered meeting up with some of the wedding party and having one or two cocktails in the casino bar. She normally didn't drink much, so it couldn't have been more than a couple. Could it? She spotted three plastic oversize souvenir cups by the TV stand. That wasn't so good, but it explained the throbbing at the base of her scalp, her queasy stomach and her lack of memory.
Don't feel, she commanded herself. Just think and solve the problem.
Fact three. There was a dyed-blue carnation bouquet next to an instant photo in a cheesy cardboard frame from the Silver Rush Wedding Chapel that read Hitched in Reno on the bedside table next to her. The image was too grainy—or maybe her eyes were too fuzzy to see—but she was definitely the one holding up the ugly flowers in the picture. She carefully stretched out her arm, trying to bring the photograph closer and into focus without waking the sleeping Adonis beside her. She squinted at the photo. Had they gone to some sort of Wild West-themed bar last night? Maybe that was where she'd met the guy next to her, because he was in the picture, too.
She let out a quiet breath while she carefully studied the shot for more clues. She and Mr. Adonis looked as if they were sitting in a covered pioneer wagon. Next to them sat two people wearing costumes reflecting Nevada's silver mining heritage. At least she hoped those were costumes. This was really weird, unless…
She glanced over her bare shoulder. The perfectly formed male snored softly away in her bed, and, as she let her gaze drift past the golden features of his face, she rethought her earlier angel appraisal. There was nothing cherubic about the man from the neck down. Had some of the bachelorettes ended up at an all-male revue show?
Oh, no. What if this guy next to her was a male stripper and she'd hooked up with him? Her parents would be mortified. They'd raised her to be a strong woman with an even stronger sense of self-worth—one who would never get taken advantage of by a man.
She dropped the photo and wiped her damp palm on the sheet. Kylie was a certified public accountant and she needed an explanation for this situation that would add up, one that would make sense. She had to stop jumping to conclusions and get back to her usual analytical approach to problem solving.
Besides, his body might look as though it could grace the cover of one of her historical romance novels, but his relaxed face looked too innocent to work for tips.
She rubbed her eyes before scrutinizing the picture again. Regardless of where they were or who else was in the photo with them, they'd both looked pretty darned pleased with themselves last night. Obviously, they'd had a fun time. She didn't know if that was good or not.
Fact four. She was still dressed in her matching blue lace panty and bra set—but nothing else. What did that mean? Had they or hadn't they.?
Again, she looked at her bedmate. She had no idea what he had on underneath the covers, but on top, he was wearing nothing but an impressive array of bronzed muscles and a smile. The heat of embarrassment shot up her cheeks.
Even though most people thought Kylie dressed too flashy and went out on more than her fair share of dates, the reality was that in all of her thirty years, she'd never let a man get past second base. And now she couldn't remember who the batter was or whether he'd hit a home run last night! She didn't need to be sober to come to the conclusion that winding up half naked and in bed with a stranger couldn't be good at all.
Before she could move on to fact five, the blond Adonis snuggled closer and wrapped his overdeveloped biceps around her waist. His warm strength sizzled against her taut skin, and it took every fiber of her normally calm demeanor to not leap off the bed and run away from him. She no longer had time to be analytical. If she tried to appraise the situation any more, she'd end up waking him. Maybe she could just sneak out quietly.
Wait. This was her room.
She might bite her tongue when some of the more gossipy women in town mocked her, but having grown up the only girl with four older brothers and an opinionated father, she was used to establishing her independence and her individuality. She was no wallflower. Kylie had learned early on that in life she needed to stand up for herself in order to stand out. She'd also learned how hold her own with men. Even gorgeous, naked ones.
She shoved at his shoulder. "Pssst."
His only response was to grip her tighter.
"Hey," she said louder as she tried gracefully to extricate herself from his embrace.
His full pink lips nuzzled against her neck, and a shocking tingle raced down her spine.
The intimate contact both aroused and startled her. She used her bare leg to shove herself away from him. Unfortunately, her heel nailed him in the shin and, just as she was pushing away, he yelped and scrambled backward. The force of his retreat timed perfectly with her launch, and she lost her momentum, collapsing to the patterned carpeted floor in a pile of long limbs and blue lace.
"What in the hell?" she cried out, trying to pull the sheet down to cover herself. "Where am I?" he asked.
With the sheet finally wrapped around her, Kylie got to her feet so she could confront the equally confused stranger sitting up in her bed. She caught sight of her makeshift toga in the dresser mirror and lifted her chin higher. Her friends always told her that with her tall, curvaceous body, she looked just like an auburn version of Wonder Woman. Yet right now the resemblance was more similar to the superhero's secret identity, Princess Diana, who needed to defend her Amazon kingdom from unwanted males. "I'll tell you where you are if you tell me who you are."
"I'm Andrew." He rubbed at his close-cropped haircut, and she took comfort in the fact that his head must be pounding just as badly as her own.
Andrew didn't sound like a stripper name—not that she had any point of reference when it came to exotic male dancers.
"Well, Andrew, you're in my room at the Legacy Casino in Reno. Don't ask me how you got here, because I'm still pretty fuzzy on the details."
The man looked at the disheveled bedding, then back at her, his eyes traveling the length of her body before settling on her heated face. He blinked a couple of times before his hand fumbled on the nightstand and lifted a pair of wire-framed lenses to his eyes.
"You're Kylie," he said, recognition apparently dawning on him.
"Well, at least one of us knows…" She faltered as a flashback from last night triggered her own memory bank. "You know, with those glasses on, you kind of look like that military friend of Cooper's."
His nod confirmed the sudden fear she couldn't even bear to say aloud. Oh, no. This was bad. This was very, very bad.
"Oh, my gosh." She pointed an accusatory finger at him while he looked around the room sheepishly, probably in search of his holy vestments. Or at least his pants. "You're the minister who's performing the wedding. You're Drew Gregson!"
Snippets of yesterday afternoon clicked into place, and she remembered arriving at the cocktail lounge early so she could welcome the rest of the wedding party. Drew, the groom's best friend, was already there and looking as lost and as confused as a lamb. And she'd apparently led him straight to slaughter. She sank down into the nearest chair. He hadn't stood up yet, and she wasn't about to get in bed again with a man of the cloth. "We are so going to hell."
Yesterday she'd ordered him a drink, telling him it would help him relax. Then she'd cracked a ribald joke to loosen the tension. He'd made a scandalized face before laughing, and they'd toasted the newlyweds. Everything after that was a blur. A horrible, sinful blur.
"Yes, that's me. But I'm not a minister."
She studied his face, trying to decide if he was telling the truth or just doing damage control. Maybe he was used to waking up in strange hotel rooms with women he didn't know, but he didn't seem too concerned about the fate of their eternal souls. So if he wasn't a pastor, then what was he? And why was he so unbelievably calm—and not the least bit modest?
She averted her eyes because if she had to look at his rock-hard abs any longer, she would have no hope of keeping her mind focused and figuring out how everything had gone so completely wrong last night. "Can you please put a shirt on or something?"
He pulled the comforter off the floor and dragged it around his body as he scanned the room. Any article of male clothing would do at this point, but Kylie had no idea where he'd left his. From her vantage point, she tried to look around the room, too, but her search kept returning to his bare torso and the fabric secured around his waist with his left hand. After years of being single, she resorted to her default training and zoned in on the shiny gold ring.
"What the hell is that?" She pointed to the offending object. "You're married! I just spent the night with a drunk, married man."
She pulled her white four-hundred-thread-count shroud tighter around her body, as if she could make herself vanish from the shame and his anonymous wife's impending wrath.
"What are you talking about?" Drew asked as he picked up a plain white undershirt and pulled it on over his head. "I'm not married."
"You're wearing a wedding ring."
He squinted his baby-blue eyes at his finger, looking truly puzzled by the gleaming jewelry. Then he turned his bespectacled gaze to her as if waiting for her to explain the whole situation to him.
Well, she certainly had no idea what was going on. Still, his appraising look was patient and intense, and Kylie had the feeling that Drew had probably won his fair share of staring contests. His continuing focus unnerved her, and her trembling fingers slipped on the sheet. She struggled to get her improvised garment back into position, and her breath hitched when she saw what had caught his attention.
"You have one, too." His tone was casual, lacking any judgment or accusation.
She stared at the matching band on her own ring finger.
For the first time in history, Kylie Chatterson, former pep leader of the Boise State Cheer Team, second runner-up for Miss Idaho USA and current CPA whiz, was at a loss for words.
Her sheet slipped to the floor unnoticed as she ran into the bathroom and slammed the door.
Maybe she wasn't being very mature and rational about this situation—whatever this situation was—but she felt as though she couldn't breathe, and her palms were sticky with sweat.
This must be what a panic attack felt like. Or a hangover. Ugh, how much had she had to drink last night?
Don't freak out. Where was her inner voice of reason when she needed it most? Probably back in the hotel lounge where she must've accidentally dumped it out of her designer gold clutch, along with the rest of her morals, when she'd pulled out her credit card to pay for that first round.
She took a sip of water from the sink, then held one hand under the cool flow while she forced herself to inhale and exhale through her nose and slow her breathing. When it finally felt as if her lungs weren't going to explode, she shut off the faucet and dried her hands.
She needed to think. Why was she wearing this stupid wedding ring, and why had Drew Gregson spent the night in her room? The answer was obvious to her methodical and organized brain, even if she was completely unclear on how they'd gotten to this point.
She stared at her sloppy reflection in the mirror, as if the hot mess looking back at her could provide any explanation. Her long auburn curls were a tangled disaster and her once carefully applied makeup had probably been left behind on one of the ten pillows out there with the Angel of Lust.
Thankfully, she'd unpacked yesterday afternoon and had left her toiletry kit on the bathroom counter. She pulled the fluffy white hotel robe off the hook and doubleknotted it around her waist. After running a brush through her hair and securing it into a tight ponytail, she scrubbed her face clean. She brushed her teeth much longer than the American Dental Association recommended, knowing she was stalling for time.
Just as she rinsed out the last of the toothpaste, a knock sounded at the bathroom door. "Uh, Kylie?"
Great. He was still out there. She needed to get rid of him ASAP so she could get down to the business of figuring out just what in the world was going on around here.
"I just found some papers on the dresser," he said through the locked barrier between them. "I think we may have a little situation."
Drew's head felt as if mortar rounds were ricocheting inside his skull. The marriage license trembling in his normally steady hands looked real enough, but his hazy eyes could barely make out the words. He looked at his watch. Oh nine hundred. He needed to pick up his nephews in less than twenty-four hours. His twin brother's eight-year-olds were waiting for him at his parents' house in Boise.
At least he was now dressed and could face the unexpected crisis that had barricaded herself in the bathroom with a little decorum—unlike the behavior he must've exhibited last night. He'd found the last of his clothes strewn about as if a bomb had detonated in the hotel room. He was usually so neat and took care with his clothing. Of course, he also took care not to overindulge in alcohol or marry women after knowing them for all of five hours.
Clearly, he wasn't himself.

Christy hi, welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
You have a set of connected books for Harlequin’s Special Edition series.

Tell my readers about them-How are they connected?
The main connection with this Special Edition series is that they all take place in the fictional town of Sugar Falls, Idaho.  The first set of books follow three best friends who cheered together at Boise State.  Since the stories are set in a small, touristy ski town, many characters make encore appearances.

How many are there?
There are a total of six books in the series so far (although, I’m still working on Books 5 and 6).  I am so excited that Harlequin was willing to release the first three back to back in January, February, and March of this year.  The Matchmaking Twins (Book 4) comes out in July 2016.  So if you like the adorable but naughty Gregson twins in Waking Up Wed, you’ll love seeing the mischief they get into when they try to set up their father with the town’s first female police officer.

Christy, many people may not know this but your mom, Judy Duarte, is also a Special Edition author. How cool is that!
Tell us how she influenced your becoming an author?
My mom was (and still is) a HUGE influence on my writing career.  I was working in law enforcement and had just returned from maternity leave when I took one look at my bullet proof vest sitting next to the breast pump on my office desk and wondered how I’d ever manage to convince my partner to pull over in the government issued vehicle so that I could de-gear and pump in the back seat.  Maybe it was the post-partum hormones talking, but when I spoke to my mom about my mixed feelings, she told me I should stay home and write romance novels.  Then, without asking me, she signed me up for my first workshop with Romance Writers of America (RWA).  She’s really big on signing me up for stuff and then telling me about it after the fact…

So now that you and your mom have a shared craft does this change your telephone conversations?
I come from a big family and we’re all very close, so talking or texting with my mom at least once a day is pretty standard.    But now, it’s harder for anyone listening to us to follow along when we start talking in industry terms.  Plus, we both have a touch of the ADD (when I researched it, I discovered it was actually a hereditary condition) and our conversations have always bounced all over the place anyway.  In fact, I just looked at our last texting session and, within five minutes, we talked about the Fitbit she lost at my house, getting the correct family birthdays on the new 2016 calendar, and the location of the RWA National Conference hotel.  One bonus to having a shared craft means we’re default roommates and travel partners for work-related events.

Your bio tells us your education isn’t exactly one modeled for being a romance author.
Tell us a bit about your “other” career path?
After I graduated from college, I went to work for the probation department in Orange County and was assigned to Juvenile Hall.  I loved it, but always felt like I needed to continue my education.  This was right about the time that TV show Ally McBeal started and I thought it would be so fun to be a young, posh attorney, spending my days in the courtroom wearing cute and trendy suits.  So I went to law school and did an internship at the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office (I also was a fan of the TV show JAG).  I would have loved to go into criminal prosecution, but, at the risk of sounding like a flakey student who didn’t take her studies very seriously, I was totally a flakey student who didn’t take her studies very seriously.  I mean, c’mon.  A television character with great taste in fashion and Barry White songs was my legal role model.  Anyway, my grades weren’t bad, but they also weren’t in the top ten percent.  Instead, I worked for a law firm specializing in Worker’s Compensation and Insurance Law, which was as boring as it sounds.   When a position opened up with San Diego County, I went back to law enforcement.  I loved the excitement of being out in the field, making arrests, and interacting with the community.  Also, working in probation still allowed me to spend time in the courtroom—so it was the best of both worlds.  Until the stay-at-home mom gig started calling my name…

When did your love of writing start? 
I was never one of those people who always think they have a book inside them.  But I was decent at writing, especially persuasive writing and court reports because that’s what I’d been trained to do.  It was more of my love for reading that convinced me that I could make this a career.  Now, if you asked me when my love of daydreaming started, that would have been way before I could remember.  So now, instead of uninteresting legal documents, I get to write about what I love.

Christy your bio also tells us you live with your “sassy grandmother”.
How did you happen to cohabitate with your grandma?
When my grandfather passed, everyone knew that my grandmother wouldn’t like living alone.  Momoo (that’s what my oldest brother nicknamed her as soon as he could talk) grew up in a family with six children and enjoys being surrounded by lots of noise and action.  And with two children of my own, I had plenty of that to spare.  So she moved into my downstairs guestroom almost three years ago, and it’s been the best solution.  My mom and I joke that we share custody of Momoo—with my mom taking on the role of “Disneyland Dad.”  I get the day-to-day activities like doctor appointments, cooking, and errands, while my mom gets to take her to the casino and the spa.

What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on Book 5 of my Sugar Falls, Idaho series—featuring Kane Chatterson (brother to Kylie Chatterson from Waking Up Wed).

Christy since we’re still in January are you a resolution maker or breaker?
I’m both, unfortunately.  I make ‘em, then I break ‘em.  But 2016 (*fist held high*) will be the year I hold fast.  Actually, I don’t even want to say what my resolution is because it’s just so ordinary and uninspiring.  But, I’ll tell you anyway because I really need the accountability.  I want to exercise more and double up on my water intake.  I’m also using my dog as motivation because as a semi-responsible pet owner, I should be getting her out on better, longer walks…not just letting her ride around in my backseat wherever I go.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions, good luck with your books!
Are you attending any author/signing events where fans can meet you in person?
Thank you so much for featuring me in your blog.  My first planned book signing will be at the RWA National Conference in San Diego on July 13th.  If you’re a romance reader and have never attended one of these events, it’s ENORMOUS and there are hundreds of authors (including the big name ones) signing books. The proceeds benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Partners, and Literary Assistance Center, which means you’ll not only be able to meet your favorite authors and get signed books, you’ll be advancing adult literacy.   So please come out!   I love meeting readers.

My Review Courtesy RT Magazine

The other books in the Idaho Falls series available now!

Connect with Christy- Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet Christy:
Christy Jeffries graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in Criminology and received her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law. But drafting court documents and working in law enforcement was merely an apprenticeship for her current career in the relentless field of mommyhood and romance writing. She lives in Southern California with her patient husband, two energetic sons, and one sassy grandmother.

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  1. I love that you described the opening scene as one in a million Debbie. This sounds like a really fun read!

  2. I haven't read any of these Harlequin Specials in YEARS but I really love the sound of this one! Its ounds so fun - and now I am intrigued by that opening scene as well :D

  3. Love how Christy became a writer and that her mom is a writer too. Quite different from being a policewoman!

    1. Very true Kathryn, sorry I don't have many international contests :(

  4. I would enjoy this great book. My favorite line is Mira. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.

    1. Oh traveler I LOVE Mira Books, I have a few on my very large tbr pile :-)

  5. I love it when books in a series comes out in succession, at the same time it sucks too because after it's all out there and been devoured, there's none left! lol

    1. I know, but then you get them out and re-read them LOL :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Great to meet Christy and learn more about Sugar Falls! I actually do read Harlequin, Special Edition always deliver a good story. Thanks!

  8. Ooh I like the sound of this one Debbie. Thanks for sharing.

  9. What an engaging interview. She sounds like a fun person and that is neat that her mom writes for the same publisher, too.

    The blurb and your review definitely caught my interest. The Vegas (Reno) wedding scenario hasn't gotten old for me yet. :)

  10. Oh, and forgot to answer the question. I don't aim for a specific Harlequin line, but I do tend to gravitate toward the Intrigue ones.

  11. I do read harlequin romances however I don't have a favorite as I read all types I like to keep my options open so I don't get bored

    1. Natasha what a great open minded idea. So many people I think get stuck in a rut because they're unwilling to try something new. I remember when I was a moderator for the B& book clubs I had so many "romance", Harlequin haters, so I started having a once a month read where I'd invite the author to join in, like I do now on Goodreads, anyway some of the first novels we did were from Mira and boy were there some really surprised people that they were reading a book from harlequin. I still smile thinking about that because I hate book snobs. Thanks for the great comment!