Jillian: Joan Chandler is a member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA and is a wonderful person and friend. She recently sold her first novel to Siren- Book-Strand Publishers and I’m thrilled to welcome her to the Siren-Book-Strand family where some of my books are published, as well as to the Sizzler blog today. She’s here to tell you about her debut novel. Take it away, Joan!!
Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today. I am a southern girl myself, having grown up in Florida, Georgiaand South Carolina. When I started college I migrated to Alabama, where I’ve lived ever since. So I feel like I’m in the best of company here with all you Southern Sizzlers! I’m excited about the opportunity to introduce my debut novel, Perfectly Imperfect. It is slated for a January 2012 release from Siren BookStrand.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love books. First, I was just an avid reader. Then, in my teen years, I got my first experience with writing when I was a contributor to my high school newspaper. From then on, writing was a great creative outlet for me. My sister and I used to fill up entire notebooks with fictional stories and then swap and read each other’s “masterpieces”.
While working for an international shipping company, I got the idea to write a novel. It took years to complete, due in large part to the birth of two children who kept me very busy. But when I finished that mainstream romance, I could not get over the feeling of accomplishment! I went on to write two Young Adult manuscripts and then prepared to start a fourth book.
When I told my sister I’d started on a new book, she had only one suggestion: Make it spicy!!! The result of those efforts is my first erotic romance. And wouldn’t you know, my first book to get published is the only one that I’d cringe if my parents ever read it! But Mom and Dad are very proud, even if they have had to promise me they’ll never download it. Let me tell you a little about Perfectly Imperfect.
I would love to wax philosophical about it, and tell you it’s a book about being brave enough to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. Or that it’s about the fact that we’re sometimes our own worst enemy. I could say that it explores the possibility that the very thing we dislike most about ourselves might be the catalyst that brings Mr. Right into our lives. And, yeah, there are elements of all of those themes between the front and back covers. But trust me, the message is very carefully disguised within the confines of a scorching love story.
My heroine is Alison Baker, a successful businesswoman inHouston,TX. She’s a tall, red haired and – even though she doesn’t believe it – beautiful woman who has struggled with her weight her whole life. She has finally slimmed down but hits a plateau before reaching her goal weight. She’s determined, and decides a gym membership is the only solution if she wants to shed those last lingering pounds. As she psyches herself up on the way into the fitness center to sign up, Ali literally bumps into gorgeous Brit, Daniel Wells, as he walks out. He’s tall, muscular, blue-eyed and speaks in that delicious British accent! He is James Bond meets Richard Armitage, all in one. In other words, he’s exactly the sort of guy Ali thinks would never even notice her.
As it turns out, Daniel works at the gym and volunteers his services as personal trainer. Thus, there is plenty of opportunity for them to talk in a relaxed setting and to begin to get to know one another. When unforeseen circumstances later put Ali in a predicament, Daniel uses the situation to let her know in a most unconventional way that he’s totally into her. Ali thinks it’s too good to be true but can’t help falling for him. She is also 100% convinced her heart will only get broken in the end. But as they say, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, right?
Their story spans two continents after Daniel invites Ali to join him on a business trip toLondon. There she is put in an embarrassing situation that only serves as a glaring reminder of what’s she has felt all along: He’s clearly out of her league.
Will Ali cut her losses and run? Or is Daniel the one addiction she is totally powerless resist?