I’m so happy to be introducing my fellow Avon Impulse author Cheryl Harper to you today. Cheryl’sCan’t Help Falling in Love.got an awesome, fun series in the works based on an Elvis Presley-themed hotel where anything can happen. She’s here today to talk about
Whether she's writing, reading, or just checking the items off of her daily to-do list, Cheryl Harper loves her romance mixed with a little laughter. When she's not working, you will find her ignoring housework, cursing yard work, and spending way too much time with a television remote in her hand.
Title: Can’t Help Falling in Love
Publisher: Avon Impulse
CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
The staff of Cheryl Harper's Elvis-themed Rock'n'Rolla Hotel are back with a funny, fresh romance that goes undercover—under the covers!
As a former Marine, hotel manager Tony Ortega has plenty of experience assessing threats, and the hotel's newest guest, Randa Whitmore, is a code red. Tall, blonde, and with legs for miles, she may look like his every fantasy, but he knows she's not really visiting for the famed Elvis Week. Though dangerously drawn to his new guest, Tony will do anything to protect his job . . . especially if it means sleeping with the enemy.
Business strategist Randa Whitmore never meant to be undercover in Memphis. In August. Sweating her expensive spa treatments away. But snagging another perfect hotel location for her father's empire means using all the tricks in her designer arsenal. And even though the sexy, tattooed manager seems oblivious to her charms, Randa's prepared to bring out the big guns—just so long as she can stay objective and out of Tony's muscled arms. After all, it's just business, right?
EXCERPT (visit Cheryl’s website to find more story exerpts!)
She hadn’t slept well. First she’d had a nightmare about a homeless Misty who wandered the busy Memphis streets because her hotel was gone. And then when she’d started awake to see that it was only midnight, she’d fought the urge to sneak out to the lobby to make sure Misty was safe and sound. Telling herself it was crazy to worry about a dog that wasn’t even hers, she forced herself to stretch out and think of something else.
After she’d finished the hardcover she’d carried on the plane, she put it and her drugstore reading glasses on the nightstand. Still too restless to sleep, she had plenty of time left to think about Misty. And Tony. Misty would never be homeless. Willodean would take her . . . somewhere. And Tony would land on his feet in another job. Of course he would. Unless he was related to Willodean Jackson somehow. Maybe he was manager here because he couldn’t get a job anywhere else. Maybe he was on parole and lucky to have family to call on, a situation that she was just about to put an end to, possibly plunging him into despair and God knew what else and dooming him to roaming the streets instead of Misty.
She’d slapped her own forehead then and she repeated it now by the pool. She really shouldn’t read in bed. Clearly it made her imagination run wild. He was a grown man. He’d find another job.
Randa was the one with a potentially bigger problem. Her runaway brain would have her shooting herself in the acquisition foot if she didn’t watch it.
All because of a dog. Or a man she didn’t even know and had no business worrying over. She had plenty on her own plate to worry about.
“Was that an a-ha moment or a mosquito?”
Randa took a deep breath and opened her eyes to see Tony standing next to the lounger.
Then she forgot every worry she’d ever had and most of everything she knew.
Because if Tony lost his job running the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel, he had a future in underwear modeling. His swim trunks rode low on his hips and even though she’d seen swimsuits that showed a whole lot more of what a man was working with, she’d never seen another man with a body like his.
In her experience, handsome men were either gym rats or couch potatoes. She’d seen a lot of manscaping in her time too: hairless chests, spray tans, and even hair plugs once upon a time.
Out of the Hawaiian shirt and khakis, Tony was perfectly imperfect. His olive skin was lightly tan. Black ink swirled up his left arm. This close she could make out the words “Semper Fi” and then what looked like names, all in a simple script. She wanted to touch his tattoo, to trace her fingers up his arm. She wanted to feel his skin. Black curls covered his pecs and trickled to a thin line down his abdomen to disappear into . . .
God, help me. Randa felt the need to fan her face or stick her tongue out to pant. August in Memphis might camouflage her reaction, but she hadn’t known heat until Tony stood in front of her with no shirt on.
CHERYL "TELLS ALL"!
LIZ: What’s the first book you remember reading?
CHERYL: The first time I remember getting lost in a story was with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. I don’t remember how old I was really, maybe 7 or 8, but I remember begging my mother to take me back to the library for the next book in the series more than once. From those books, I learned to love a series and how to hunt down everything an author ever wrote. Plus, I met my first book boyfriend. Oh, Manly. He might have also been my first television boyfriend.
LIZ: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
CHERYL: Jill Shalvis’s Always on My Mind, Lori Foster’s Getting Rowdy, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Styxx, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, and Lynsay Sands’s One Lucky Vampire
LIZ: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
CHERYL: Cinderella, I think, but I like some of the retellings (like Ever After) where Cinderella takes action. Plus, in that movie, if you can get over Drew Barrymore’s weird accent, there is Prince Dougray Scott. Nice.
LIZ: What one thing about your hero drives his heroine crazy? And what one thing about your heroine drives her hero nuts?
CHERYL: I’ve got to admit that I really like Tony Ortega, the hero of Can’t Help Falling in Love, but it would be hard to get to know him. He’s the strong, silent type, and he’s too smart to be taken in by the heroine, Randa Whitmore, and her usual tactics. That frustrates Randa who’s in town with a job to do. Randa drives Tony nuts from the minute she walks into the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel because she does not act like he expects her to. Instead of the snooty rich girl, she’s a hard worker who has a mile-wide soft spot for a floppy dog. He has no defense against that.
LIZ: Name three things that are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag (or whatever she carries)?
CHERYL: Cinnamon gum, credit cards, and a calculator
LIZ: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
CHERYL: I love this question, but I take it too seriously. If I can know everything I do now and go back in my own life, I’d like to be twenty-six again…but just for maybe a day. I’d like to say things I should have said to people I loved, and I’d like to tell myself that no matter how hard things get, it’s all going to work out. And…a better fun answer: I’ve always been fascinated by women who settled the American West, how much strength and fearlessness it would take to head out into the unknown. But I would also only want to stay for one day. I like showers. And my Twitter addiction is pretty bad.
LIZ: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
CHERYL: I have this dog. His name is Jack. And he has a pretty goofy, sweet face, likes to cuddle, and gets outrageously excited by a walk to the mailbox. He’s the best.
LIZ: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
CHERYL: Only one? That’s hard. I have to go with Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth BBC version. And of course, I can recite large chunks of most John Hughes movies so…
LIZ: What is your biggest vice?
CHERYL: DIET COKE!! Specifically the Sonic Route 44 Diet Coke. I have such a bad problem. I plan my days around half-price Happy Hour and I think that’s a sign of a vice.
LIZ HAS GOTTA ASK: How big an Elvis fan are you REALLY? And what led you to use him as a theme for your series?
CHERYL HAS TO ANSWER: I know so much more about Elvis now than I did when I started! And he’s not really involved in the stories, but the hotel is a backdrop for stories about people looking for a place to belong. This series started as a novella that I wrote to answer an Avon open call for Valentine’s Day submissions. I needed an imaginary hotel to strand co-workers somewhere between Atlanta and Dallas. Then my editor called to see if I had more stories. And after a weekend, I did! I spent a lot of quality time with YouTube watching Elvis videos and hunting up information, trivia, best-selling records, and I found some songs I really love. “Stuck on You” is one I didn’t know…until I had to have a title change for the first book in the series. And now, I listen to it and have to snap my fingers!
WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR YOU?
Santa, Bring My Baby Back, the last of the Rock’n’Rolla Hotel books is coming December 17, 2013.
A bride abandoned at the altar . . . just in time for Christmas? 'Tis the season for second chances at Cheryl Harper's Elvis-themed Rock'n'Rolla Hotel.
After trying and failing at acting, modeling, dog grooming, and a dozen other jobs, Grace Andersen thought for sure she'd nail marrying a rich man. But dumped in a hotel chapel and strapped for cash, Grace needs a miracle—and a job. If it were up to Charlie McMinn, Grace would be a married lady by now. Officiating weddings in gold lamé and a rock star pompadour may not have been his idea of getting into the holiday spirit, but with a gorgeous bride asking for his help, Charlie doesn't mind sticking around his mother's hotel a few more days. Especially if it means getting Grace settled …
Grace isn't sure what to think of sexy, rugged Charlie, except that she can't deny the attraction between them, or how good it feels to finally fit in somewhere. Is she ready to give a certain place—and a certain someone—a real chance? Or will she abandon a true Christmas miracle?
CHERYL’S PREVIOUS RELEASES:
Kiss Me, “Love Me Tender” novella (Rock’n’Rolla Hotel #1, February 2013)
Pucker up on the most romantic day of the year with three debut contemporary authors and their tales of romance, seduction, and . . . Elvis?
She's got a hot new makeover . . . and a boss to seduce! For prim and proper Ryan Ashton, sexy has always been an elusive quality. But with a little help from a new friend, she just might snag the one man who can set her seductive side loose in Codi Gary's The Trouble with Sexy.
Stuck in a king-size suite with a sexy man . . . What more could a girl want? But for Julie Dillon, being snowed in at an Elvis-themed Memphis hotel with Luke Pearce can't mean anything but trouble. Too close for comfort gets close enough to taste in Cheryl Harper's Love Me Tender.
Her best friend's brother is shaking up her Valentine's Day! Katie Quinn just wanted to spend the day watching Jurassic Park and eating chocolate. She certainly had no intention of running into Logan Cross–or running for her life! Suddenly caught in the crosshairs of danger, Katie and Logan must get together to find a way out in Jaclyn Hatcher's Love, Guns, and Heart-Shaped Chocolate.
Stuck on You (Rock’n’Rolla #2, April 2013)
Take a chance on love in the limelight with Cheryl Harper's fun and flirty new series set in the wacky Elvis-themed Rock'n'Rolla Hotel.
Big shot producer KT Masters never apologizes. Especially not to showgirl waitresses. But when he tears Laura Charles's feathered costume and she gives him a piece of her mind, it sets him aflame. In fact, between Laura's feisty temper and how damn good she looks in that little number, KT wouldn't mind seeing a lot more of that costume . . . balled up next to his bed, that is.
Despite KT's arrogant attitude, Laura can't help but be drawn to him. And when he offers her the fling of a lifetime—a week spent in his gorgeous celebrity arms—she's willing to play along . . . just so long as her heart stays out of it. But as things heat up between them, going back to the way things were isn't so easy. Could their passion be the real thing . . . or just a vacation from reality?
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
If you could build a hotel dedicated to your favorite book or movie, which one would you pick?
I’ll give away a Kindle or Nook copy of Can’t Help Falling in Love (US) to one lucky commenter!
Thanks, Cheryl, for taking time to visit with us today--it was so good to have you at Get Lost in a Story!