Good evening! I hope everyone is winding down from their Monday! Tonight I have the amazing pleasure to bring you the interview with Christine S. Feldman!
Book Blurb for The Bargain:
Tomboy Shannon Mahoney has always been a lot more comfortable with things like power tools than she is with high heels or lipstick, and she often wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss, Drew Kingston, that she has had a crush on him since high school. But she is just as tongue-tied and awkward around him now as she ever was, and long-familiar patterns are hard things from which to break free…
Until one day Drew’s estranged older brother Michael comes to town, bringing with him a surprising opportunity for Shannon.
Ladies’ man Michael is a former bad boy looking for redemption. He is desperate to atone for past mistakes that he made with his family, but younger brother Drew has cut him out of his life and refuses to even speak to him. Which means Michael needs help getting to Drew.
And so he approaches Shannon with a proposition: if she will get Drew to agree to hear him out, Michael will mentor Shannon in how to win his brother’s heart. Suspicious of Michael’s motives, Shannon initially enters into the bargain just to make sure Michael isn’t actually in town to cause trouble for Drew, but the two unlikely allies are surprised to discover that despite butting heads at first, they are beginning to enjoy each other’s company far more than either of them expected.
And Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn’t about reinventing yourself after all. It’s about finding your perfect match.
Do you write under any other names? Not at the moment, but I do have some ideas for other genres like fantasy and suspense, so I think I’ll have to come up with some other pen names for those. Either I’ll go way over-the-top with something like Mirabella Montague the Third or I’ll just go with an abbreviation of my current one, like C.S. Feldman. Got any suggestions for me?
What are you currently working on? I plan on self-publishing a few holiday themed novelettes—or is it novellas? I’m not clear on the distinction between those two—on Amazon starting around Christmas time if I can figure out all the ins and outs there, but I also have outlines for another contemporary romance that I’d like to submit to my current publisher, Crimson Romance, along with a romantic suspense book. Plus, I dabble in screenwriting, and I have a fantasy screenplay and a paranormal screenplay that have both placed or won in some contests, and I’d love to adapt them to novel form.
How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles? I’ve published two so far, Coming Home (March 25, 2013) and The Bargain (July 22, 2013). They’re both contemporary romances, and they’re both published through Crimson Romance.
What inspired you to write your first book? That depends—do you mean my first book ever or the first book of mine that has actually seen the light of day and been published? Either way I suppose the answer is pretty much the same: I just love to dream up stories. It’s a wonderful way to have all sorts of vicarious experiences that—hopefully—entertain or move others as well. Writing is a great way to explore obstacles people face and the choices they make when confronted by them.
Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer? I like to write with a little humor even if a story may have some serious undertones, but I think my style varies depending upon the genre, you know? Contemporary romance can be lighthearted and work well that way, but a suspense novel would tend to have a different style, one with more urgency since there might be a certain amount of menace lurking…
How did you come up with the title of your book(s)? I think about themes in the stories or important elements that play a part in the plot and try to pull something from that. And I like simple titles, hence Coming Home and The Bargain.
Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp? Well, different stories have different messages, but I hope readers will see something in each story I write that shows characters who persevere and struggle to overcome something, because I think we can all use encouragement to hang in there that way. In The Bargain, the heroine struggles against insecurities and ends up taking a big risk because she knows it’s time to make a change in her life. And because the book has a HEA, naturally her risk-taking pays off…
How much of the book is realistic/true? It’s not based on real-life events, but it’s very realistic. I found myself relating to the awkwardness of the heroine, especially in social situations, and I think a lot of other people out there could relate to her circumstances, too. She’s someone you can really root for.
Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Mostly I just dream them up, but I’m sure my own life experiences have an impact on things characters might say or how they react.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Nope! I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I hope readers will be, too.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure! Here’s an excerpt in which Shannon, who initially has a crush on hero Michael’s brother Drew, has warily agreed to speak to Drew on estranged brother Michael’s behalf. Michael discovers they’ve crossed paths before and has a little fun with that fact:
“So, ten years…That would take it all the way back to high school, wouldn’t it?”
She nodded, still very deliberately working on getting just the right amount of ketchup on her fry so she wouldn’t have to look at him.
“Wait—were you and Drew in the same graduating class?”
“Then that would mean…so you and I were actually in school together?”
“For a year, yes.”
He gave her a very thorough once-over as if trying to place her. “You and I—we never hooked up in high school, did we?”
Shannon’s mouth fell open. “No, we certainly did not!”
“So is that why you were really so mad at me the other day?”
“What?” she sputtered hotly. “You are unbelievable!”
“Oh, so we did hook up.”
A slow grin spread across his face, and she realized he was playing with her.
Taking a deep breath, she bit back a name she had been about to call him. “You get a perverse pleasure out of yanking my chain, don’t you?”
“Kind of, yes.”
“Aren’t you afraid I might back out of the deal?”
“No, I think you realize it’s in Drew’s best interest. Besides,” he added with a knowing gleam in his eye, “I think you get a perverse pleasure out of putting me back in my place, so we’re developing a great little symbiotic relationship here. Don’t you agree?”
“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m still recovering from the shock of hearing such big words come out of your mouth.”
Michael started to laugh, and Shannon felt a kind of rush go through her…
Do you have any advice for other writers? I’ve been motivated lately by a quote from Wayne Gretzky about how you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take, so my best advice would be: take your shot! Go for it! If writing is what you love, make it a part of your life. Carve out time to do it, and then DO it, because that’s the only way it will happen. I think the people we hear about who are the most inspiring in life are the ones who dare to not only dream big, but then actually take action to make that dream a reality.
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