TBR: Welcome to TBR, Amanda. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Amanda: I’m still working on the process of the whole, but I’m a mother of four, live in the rural Midwest. I began writing after the birth of my last two children-twins, when I needed to stay home. I wrote a weekly newspaper column for seven years on the vital importance of the fine arts education in schools and then crossed over into reviewing and finally took the step to fiction writing about eleven years ago. I view writing as any other creative endeavor-I’m not interested in the art of the storytelling, in painting a picture in your mind with words. To evoke emotions from my readers.
TBR: Tell us about RUGGED HEARTS and where it's available.
Amanda: Rugged Hearts is the first in my Kinnison Legacy Contemporary romance series. Set in End of the Line, Montana it tells the stories of three formidable men-Wyatt, Rein and Dalton--and the women who will tame them. Though the story is a holiday set, the E-book was released in a special launch for the RT Booklovers E-Expo with the print to follow in late summer at the authors request. It is available at Amazon, where its enjoyed staying in the top 100 bestsellers in western romance since its release two weeks ago. It’s available also at all e-book distributors, including Decadent Publishing, All Romance E-books and Smashwords.
TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Amanda: Excerpt from RUGGED HEARTS: (**Set-up; Wyatt after a long time of not stepping foot in a bar, decides to go to Dustys where Aimee is heading up a karaoke fundraiser for the food bank in town and an unruly admirer gets too friendly with her and Wyatt’s patience with the guy snaps causing a ruckus that carries out to the parking lot.)
Show’s over, folks. Back inside.” Dusty stood at the top of the steps with his arms folded across his chest. He blocked the way of the troublemakers. “Where do you think you boys are going?”
“Inside for a drink.” One of the men punched his fist into the air.
“You all right, Wyatt?” Dusty called to him.
“I’m fine and sorry about the table, Dusty. I’ll replace it.”
“Damn right, you will. You want to press charges? Sheriff’s just a phone call away.”
“Nope, I suppose in a way I had it comin’,” Wyatt responded.
“And you, dumb ass?” Dusty spoke directly to the bloodied man. He shook his head. Dusty nodded. “Good. Now you boys get on out of here. The rest of you, let’s get back inside and remember the real reason we came here tonight.”
Aimee brushed the snow from her coat.
“Do me a favor, you two,” Wyatt spoke to his brothers. “Could you take care of the cleanup and help Aimee when it’s over?”
“And just where do you think you’re going?” Aimee asked in surprise.
“Home. Where I should have stayed.”
“Hell, no.” Aimee turned and called to Dalton. “Tell Sally I had to leave.”
Dalton waved in response, but tossed a smile at Rein.
She faced Wyatt. “You and I are going to have this out come hell or high water tonight. My place is closer. Take me home.” She breezed past him and climbed into the cab of his truck.
Wyatt drove through town and neither spoke. Aimee wanted to thank him for coming, but she was thinking more about what she was going to say to him when they got alone.
“Do you have some ibuprofen?” he asked, his eyes on the road. He hadn’t looked at her once since getting in the truck.
“Probably,” she remarked and considered she might need it herself before the night was over.
They rode for another few moments in silence.
“I’ll replace your coat,” he offered.
Aimee snorted. “You’ve been gunning for my coat since the first time we met.”
“Take a right, there in the parking lot. I’m the spot on the end.” Only then did Aimee realize and thankfully she’d slipped her phone and keys in her coat pocket. She’d have to call Dusty’s and have Sally get the book bag she’d left behind the bar. She felt his eyes on her as he followed her up the stairs. She hoped to find a gentle way of approaching the subject of Jessie, this woman who’d apparently left a deep scar when she betrayed him and let him know she wasn’t like her. Aimee let herself in, dropped her keys on the counter, and turned to face him as he came through the door. “You can hang your hat over there.”
He took off his hat, tossed it the counter, and grabbed her shoulders, planting a firm kiss on her lips.
“We need to talk,” she cautioned, though the next kiss, gentle this time on the side of her neck, caused her to rethink the idea. She accepted his mouth on hers and released a soft groan. She’d missed the taste of him, but they had things to discuss. Maybe after just one more kiss….
“We can talk later.” He nuzzled the sweet spot beneath her ear and unzipped her coat. It fell to the floor. “When you sang tonight….” His cool hands snaked under the hem of her shirt and she shivered with anticipation. “Was it only Sarah you thought of? Because I burn for you, Aimee. It started the night you showed up on my doorstep, and it’s been building ever since. I can’t get you out of my mind.”
TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Amanda: No matter what genre I write, my passion is to take ordinary people and place them in extraordinary circumstances. To see the evolution of their personas when challenged beyond their comfort zone—and what rewards and sacrifices result from their decisions. This series idea started with the combination of a short story I wrote once called “Stranded with Children” and a Christmas story I’d written for a newspaper column called the Cowboys Christmas. Together, it inspired the idea for the series of three unlikely brothers and the obstacles –both personal and professional—they meet while attempting to live out the legacy of the man who raised them.
TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Amanda: Both and I prefer to write first draft in longhand.
TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Amanda: I research pictures, movies, listen to music to develop specific details, but I love to take ordinary people and place them in extraordinary situations. That’s really, I think when a characters persona shines brightest. At the moment when doing what is right, becomes a hero or a heroine, in the making.
TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Amanda: I am a quote fanatic. Seriously. But the one I’ve had taped to my computer for the length of my career is an anonymous quote that sums up writing and romance in a nutshell, IMO. “The Greatest Risk Is Not Taking One.”
TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Amanda: I do use music. No particular playlist as I use a variety of music or sometimes silence as inspiration for a particular scene.
TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Amanda: How alike creating a painting is to telling a story.
TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Amanda: I don’t know necessarily that its different from others, but I like to think that I paint pictures, feelings with words. Many authors will tell you that they can see a movie playing through their head as they write. And that’s happened to me as well, but mostly I want my characters to linger long after the book is over. Like a beautiful painting or piece of art work that sticks with you. Lofty goal and one I may never really know if I’ve accomplished, but I figure if I’ve fallen in love with my hero by the end of the book, chances are others will.
TBR: What's next for you?
Amanda: I’m currently at work writing the second Kinnison Legacy book. I’m always plotting ideas, and some of those include the release of an historical erotic thriller-possible series and some a rural romance series that I’m collaborating with a friend on.
TBR: Any other published works?
Amanda: I have a number of historicals and paranormal/celtic lore books out with Harlequin(HQN and Spice Briefs) I have a time-travel series called tales fo the Sweet Magnolia (Wild and Unruly and Fallen Angel) as well as a few novellas at Decadent. I have a WWII set Faery duet with talented Isabo Kelly over at Crescent Moon Press and an erotic twist on Cupid & Psyche. I also just recently self-published Unfinished Dreams, which was the award-winning first full length novel I ever wrote. There seems to be a term going around called a hybrid. Seems fitting for a gal who is in her contemporary western romance period.;)
TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Amanda: I’m always humbled and amazed when I receive emails from readers who tell me how a book affected them. I think the best one so far involves a reader who literally sat in the parking lot of her grocery store intending to finish one chapter and wound up reading so long that the light began to wane. I think she got her groceries finally. LOL To think my storytelling touches people’s emotions is why I do what I do. It’s terrifying and at the same time, inspiring.
TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Amanda : I have far too many fav authors to name-and some of them I’ve read. ;) My book tastes are eclectic as is my music, so I read everything-literally. News columns, non-fiction, research, historical , contemporary, paranormal, erotic romance, western romance, and more…Just a few books on MY keeper shelf: Pink Moon, By Stef Ann Holms (which I am currently reading for about the umpteenth time) Christmas Knight (Christina Skye) At Your Command By Donna Kauffman, Colony, by Anne River Siddons, The Shining by Stephen King, Roan by Jennifer Blake.
TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-McIntyre/e/B002C1KH2Q
TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Amanda: I would! I’d love to know what your readers enjoy reading and what would they like to see more of. Also, how many now own some type of e-reader?
TBR: Readers, Amanda will give away an ebook copy of Rugged Hearts to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner on May 24, 2013 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Amanda. All the best to you.