Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Interview - Laura Trentham - Till I Kissed You

Today I'm showcasing Laura Trentham's Till I Kissed You, book 3 in her Cottonbloom series

ISBN-13: 9781250077622
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 08-02-2016
Length: 320pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound/Publisher


It’s summertime in Cottonbloom, where two lovers find themselves at a crossroads just as things start to heat up. . .
Regan Lovell grew up on the wealthy Mississippi side of Cottonbloom—and now, as mayor, she’s determined to save it from the fate of so many small towns. Part of her plan to help the local economy is the Labor Day tomato festival. If only she wasn’t being undermined by Sawyer Fournette, who’s planning a crayfish-themed celebration on the Louisiana side of the river on the very same weekend. The pranks and sabotage are getting out of hand, and she’s had it with him—no matter how much she enjoyed those stolen hours in his truck bed, so many years ago…
Sawyer knows that Regan's never forgiven him for breaking her heart—but despite his reputation as a low-class swamp rat, he’d never hurt the woman who still secretly drives him crazy with desire. Someone in Cottonbloom has it out for her, though, and Sawyer intends to watch her back…and the rest of her too, if she can ever let go of her distrust. But will a common enemy be enough to unite them—and finally fulfill the promises they made one passionate night under the stars?

Read an excerpt courtesy St. Martin's Press:

Chapter One

Regan Lovell ran her hands up the shifting muscles of her lover’s back, lost in a state of wonder. The rhythm of his thrusts progressed from slow and steady to wild and erratic. It didn’t take long. He moaned softly in her ear, his hot breath sending shivers through her body.

It was done. She’d lost her virginity to Sawyer Fournette.

While it hadn’t been the out-of-body experience the romance novels she’d read in preparation would have her believe, it had been magical in its own way. She clasped her knees around his hips and wrapped him tight in her arms, his body sagging over hers, his breathing ragged.

Her mother would be horrified she’d given up her virginity at all, much less at eighteen, before she could use it to barter for a doctor or a lawyer at Ole Miss. She expected Regan to get an MRS degree, just as she had done thirty-odd years before.

But what would send her mother into an early grave was who she’d lost her virginity to. Her mother deemed Sawyer a Louisiana swamp rat and considered Regan’s fascination with him a phase. A means to rebel against her parents and their expectations, and that’s all.

What her parents didn’t know, or couldn’t accept, was that Regan had dreams and ambitions and a heart of her own. It wasn’t a phase or a rebellion; it was love.

He stirred against her, his sparse chest hair tickling her breasts. She crossed her ankles around his backside, holding him inside of her. “I love you, Sawyer.”

He pushed up on his elbows. “I love you too, Regan.”


“And ever.” The humor and love in his voice were honestly more satisfying than the sex had been.

“Even after I eat too much barbeque and get fat and my hair turns gray and I lose my marbles like Nana Rosemary?”

“Even so.” He kissed the tip of her nose, and she smiled at their game.

Other more immediate questions clawed at her chest. Will you love me after we go our separate ways for college? Will you love me even though prettier girls will try to lure you away? Will you wait for me?

He wiggled his hips free and dropped to her side in the bed of his brother’s old pickup truck. She looked down her body, but everything was the same, not that she really expected this final crossover into womanhood to leave a visible mark. She was irrevocably changed but not in a way her mother or her friends could pinpoint.

Now that the sexual haze was clearing, she became acutely aware of her nakedness. Subtle rustling while he disposed of the condom had her biting her lip and reaching for the edge of the threadbare quilt as cover. Was there a bloodstain like she’d read about in books?

Cooling air wafted over her. Through the arms of the pines, twilight cast shadows that shifted with the breeze. The river was close enough to serenade them with bullfrog croaks but far enough to avoid the worst of the bugs.

Citronella candles burned on the tailgate, keeping the mosquitoes away. She closed her eyes. The scent of the candles mixed with the pines and Sawyer to form an intoxicating blend she’d never forget.

Sawyer stripped the corner of the quilt away and blanketed her with his body. His expression was a mystery. He alternated between a too-mature seriousness and a boyish playfulness, leaving her unbalanced.

His everyday life was far removed from the plush elegance of hers across the river in Mississippi. But that’s one reason he drew her. He was different, exciting, and had more depth than all the boys in her school combined.

There was more to him than sports and parties. With him, she wasn’t afraid to talk about things that interested her—not cheerleading and beauty pageants, but world events and politics. He didn’t laugh when she laid out her dreams even though she wasn’t yet out of high school.

He believed in her.

“Did I hurt you?” He brushed her hair back from her forehead.

“A little. You were bigger than I expected.”

His laughter made her smile. It always did. “That was the perfect compliment.”

“Was it? Well, it’s the truth. Not that I have any basis for comparison, but I’m sure yours is the best.” His chest rumbled against hers, the vibrations electrifying her toes and fingertips. “Was I … okay?”

“Ah, baby, you are everything I’ve dreamed about and more.” His lips tickled her ear, but she needed to see his eyes. See the truth or lie. She cupped his cheeks and forced his face up.

Nothing but love shone from his face. The kiss he gave her was sweet and retained a hint of the innocence they’d entrusted to each other that night. She squeezed her eyes to shut off the spigot of tears that threatened. His weight pressed her down into the ridges of the truck bed, not that she planned to complain. She would stay all night under him if she could.

She would love Sawyer Fournette forever.

Laura, hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
Tell my readers a bit about Till I Kissed You.
Hello, so happy to be invited! Till I Kissed You is a combination second chance romance and enemies to lovers romance (my favorite!). Sawyer and Regan were high school sweethearts even though Sawyer grew up poor on the Louisiana side of the river that separates Cottonbloom and Regan was a beauty queen on the Mississippi side. After their relationship imploded in college, they have done a bang-up job of ignoring each other. But once they become mayors of their respective sides of town, their paths inevitably cross and the fire reignites.

This in number 3 in your Cottonbloom series.
How are the books related?
The Fournette siblings (two brothers and a sister) each get an HEA in these stand-alone novels (no relationship cliffhangers!) However, the books take place over one sizzling summer in Cottonbloom where two Labor Day festivals are vying to win a magazine competition for Best Small Town Festival, but someone is out to sabotage the festivals. It all comes to a head in Book 3, Till I Kissed You. 

Laura I’m just now reading your bio and laughing out loud at “I was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, I loved English and reading in high school, I was convinced an English degree equated to starvation! So, I chose the next most logical major - Chemical Engineering- and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years. Now I live in South Carolina with my husband and two children. In between school and homework and soccer practices, I love to get lost in another world, whether it's Regency England or small town Alabama.”
Tell me how your muse was born?
I’m *not* one of those people who started writing as soon as they could hold a pencil. In fact, before I sat down to write my first book (a Regency historical), I had never even attempted to write fiction. Of course, I’ve always been a voracious reader, and when I got a kindle, a whole catalog of self-published books were available to me. Some were great, but some were really, really terrible. I thought to myself, “I can do better than this!” My plan was to write a series of Regency historical romances and self-pub them. Never in a million years did I expect to get an agent and land a publishing deal! It’s been a crazy ride. I started writing four and half years ago, and Till I Kissed You is my eighth book to release.

What about small town Alabama and Regency England speaks to you the writer?
I grew up reading all those great lush historical romances from the 1980s and 90s, like Kathleen Woodiwiss and Julie Garwood, so that’s what I started writing. But I didn’t grow up in England; I grew up in a small Tennessee town where everyone really did know everyone else! I enjoy creating these little Southern towns that are important characters themselves. Cottonbloom, in particular, is very unusual. It’s split in two by a river which acts as the state line between Mississippi and Louisiana. This lends itself to some great dynamics and rivalries between the two sides. I enjoy exploring the quirky and quaint, but also the dark sides to small towns.

Do you write multiple novels at once or do you have to put away your Twinings Earl Grey for Whiskey to help you get from one time period to the other?
I like to jump from project to project or between time periods, especially if (when!) I get stuck. However, in the last year, I’ve put my Regency historicals to the side to concentrate on my contemporary books. I’ve already been contracted for three more full-length books in the Cottonbloom series which I’m very excited about. Different family, different story arc, but the same town and secondary characters readers have come to love.

Laura, is an HEA a must in all your novels?
YES!!!! I want to make readers laugh and maybe cry a little, but I want a happy sigh when you reach the end.

You have some wonderful recipes on your site.
What series are they from and have you tried any?
The recipes are from the Falcon Football series, a digital only series, and yes, I have made all of them! Chicken and dumplings is a family favorite (and a super easy week night dinner.)
I actually have a Christmas novella releasing in October that ties both my Falcon Football series and my Cottonbloom series together. It’s fun when worlds collide!

So Laura you’re a wife and mom, author in multiple genres and run a blog too! I’m impressed.
Do you have a specific time for each or are you more a seat of your pants kind of gal?
You are being very generous when you say I “run” a blog. I post sporadically at best and usually out of guilt! Lol. My life is a juggling act and things inevitably fall through the cracks. I work while my kids are in school. Words come first!! Once I hit my daily word count, I move on to marketing and play on social media until it’s time to pick the kids up from school. Summers are a little more difficult and involve a pot of coffee at the ungodly hour of 5AM in order to get some words in before the kids are up.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions.
Where in the near future can fans fin you for a meet and greet?
You’ll probably have to come to my house for a meet and greet…I have too many books to write! No, seriously, don’t come to my house; it’s a mess:) I took part in the huge literacy signing at the Romance Writer’s national convention last week in San Diego, but otherwise I don’t have any events planned. Anytime I travel, I try to leave signed copies of my books and bookmarks at Barnes and Noble and Walmart, so be on the lookout!
To make up for my hermit life-style, I love to give things away on my Facebook page and in my newsletter, so be sure to “like” it or join!


Books in the series

Connect with Laura - Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet Laura:Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Caught Up in the Touch, Kiss Me That Way, and others. She is a member of RWA, and has finaled multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

Today's Gonereading item is:
2017 Game of Thrones
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  1. I love that the author said the small towns are like characters themselves because I couldn't agree more and it's one of the reasons why I love reading books with that setting. They can take on a life of their own.
    Wonderful review!

  2. Thanks Kindlemom, I also agree. I've read so many titles where the town is its own character

  3. Cottonbloom sounds like a wonderful place to visit this summer. I totally agree that these small towns live and breath just like the characters :)

  4. Fascinating interview again Debbie and I love a chemical engineer who finds her 'first love' in writing and no doubt reading. Sounds like a great small town romance. Love the covers.

  5. Second chance AND enemies to lovers? DONE! I'm in! lol So many awesome looking reads this week, Debbie!