|Real Men Don’t Break Hearts|
Coleen Kwan, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Real Men Don’t Break Hearts.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Cover artist: Jessica Cantor
Length: 277 pages
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: Enemy. Playboy. Landlord. The perfect fling?
Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy--the man she blames for getting her jilted at the altar six years ago. Plus, now her ex-fiancé is back in their hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride...for real this time. Everybody’s treating Ally with kid gloves, as though she’s still heartbroken, but she’s just fine, thank you very much.
Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves?
As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn't count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart...
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What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ally Griffin, 25, gift store owner.
Nate Hardy, 29, former finance whizz, now landscaper.
Cradling his beer, he headed for a corner of the bar counter. The music blaring from the sound system was a song he disliked, and the conversation around him was too raucous. A few people were dancing in the center of the room. He took a mouthful of beer, already regretting stopping here. He’d finish his drink and then head back home. At least there he wouldn’t have to put up with other people’s bad musical taste.
The music swapped over to a slow song, and the dancing changed. Great. Just what he needed, a crooning number and amorous couples feeling each other up. He downed another gulp of beer and almost choked as he spotted Ally dancing with some strange guy.
They were on the edge of the crowd, and to Nate everything about them shouted “first date.” He could tell just by the way they were holding each other: Ally stiff, her fingers tentative on the man’s shoulders, while the guy had his arm loose around her waist, a good few inches of space separating their bodies. Through the haze he didn’t have a good view of Ally’s expression, but the guy seemed eager. Nate narrowed his gaze on Ally. He could see why.
Ally looked incredible. She’d done something to her hair so it was all shiny and loose as it tumbled around her shoulders. Her soft, pale blue dress clung to her curves and floated over her thighs at least two inches above her knees, and the stilettos on her feet did amazing things to her legs. Damn, she had great legs. Lithe, toned, touchable. Why had he never noticed them before? In fact, why had he never noticed how outright sexy she was? The question rocked through his brain, altering all his thought patterns.
Ally spun around in her partner’s arms, and now her rear was toward Nate. Her swaying butt had him mesmerized. His fingers itched to touch the silky material, to glide over her soft skin and caress the little hollow at the back of her knees.
Who would have thought Ally Griffin would get his motor racing this hot? He’d never thought of her like this, never visually undressed her so blatantly. At first he’d just known her as Seth’s girlfriend who didn’t approve of him, and then he’d thought of her as Seth’s ex-fiancée who hated his guts. He’d never thought of her as a woman who might attract him. She wasn’t his type. Too rigid, too determined to keep Seth away from his bad influence. The kind of woman who would smother a man. Anathema to Nate.
But now? Now he couldn’t just dismiss her as a stuffy prude, not when his body was telling him the opposite. The spark had been struck in his mind, and it couldn’t be unstruck, no matter how he tried. The more he gazed at Ally, the more intrigued he became. He used to think he had her all sussed out, but he was wrong. He recalled the bars of soap she’d flung at him and, six years ago, the two stinging slaps she’d delivered across his face. Ally might seem like a pussycat, but back her into a corner and she could be quite the spitfire. She had spirit, he had to admit, and tonight she looked like dynamite.
He shifted his attention to Ally’s date. Roughly the same age as him, medium build, short brown hair, clean-cut looks, neat khaki trousers, nice shirt but nothing fancy. A dime a dozen. Mr. Average. Why was she out with him? What could she possibly see in a guy like that? Nate frowned into his beer. Crap, he couldn’t mistake the first stirrings of envy. Over Ally. Not good.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
The most important thing I do is write on a regular basis. When I first started writing I’d wait for inspiration, and I’d give up as soon as I hit a rough patch. Now, I know how important it is to stick to my daily word count and to hang in there on the difficult days when the words won’t come, because persistence pays off.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
I would make my heroine more proactive. I would also pay much more attention to editing my work and try to eliminate passive writing and over description.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love creating my characters and getting lost in their stories. I like it that my characters can say and do things I wouldn’t be able to!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
That’s a tough question. I would most likely choose Jessica Page Morrell. She’s a writing teacher and coach, and I always find her inspiring.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell myself to make time for writing, even if it’s just a few hours on the weekend. I would tell myself to finish that book, then write another and another, and try to improve with each one.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I’m a great believer in To Do lists. If I have all my chores written down, they seem more manageable, and there’s something very satisfying about ticking each task off as it’s done. I’m also a great believer in chocolate! Whether it’s a rejection, a looming deadline, or a story that won’t work, chocolate always eases the stress.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I can’t go anywhere without my contact lenses, so that would be the first thing I pack. I’d take some T-shirts, shorts, and jeans, and I’d go on a luxury tour around China, taking in the Great Wall, Shangri-La, and Xian. Of course, I’d have to take my family along, too.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I was near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, and I watched the fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I have to confess I watch a lot of TV! I enjoy shows like The Office, Doctor Who, The Mentalist, and Criminal Minds. My teenage daughter has also put me onto shows like Parks and Recreation, and Community.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with BBQ chicken.
I'm always ready for a nap.
When I'm alone, I daydream.
You'd never be able to tell, but I daydream a lot!
If I had a halo it would be so cool.
If I could fly I'd trim the annoying climber growing on my house.
I can never wear lipstick because it always feels sticky and yucky.
When Harriet Came Home
Moonlit Encounters (anthology)
Books Coming Soon
Book 2 in the Real Men series.
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