Monday, August 22, 2011

Blog Tour: Lauren Dane Once and Again - for the First Time

I am pleased to welcome national best-selling author Ms. Lauren Dane here on her blog tour for Once and Again.  I only met the Chase brothers recently, but I fell in love with them, and the friendly, but sometimes challenging town of Petal, Georgia.  Not sure I'm entirely happy they've each found their own wives, since that means they're no longer available for me, but Lauren writes such strong, smart heroines it's impossible not to cheer for them as well.

Please read on for what she shares about their beginnings, and the latest stories from Petal with a new heroine and sexy, charming man set to win her heart.  Add your comment at the bottom for a chance to win some great prizes that I know you'll love to read.


This Is How The Story Goes: Once and Again by Lauren Dane

Way back in 2005 I had an idea for a contemporary, small town romance with a school teacher and a big, bad sheriff. So I started writing it, only the sheriff was a jerk and wouldn’t behave and so my heroine tossed him to the curb. But in the background, the sheriff’s brother was sort of sweet on my heroine, but you know, he was the jerk’s brother so he kept it to himself.

Until the jerk messed up and the nicer brother, the one who’d be a far better match for the school teacher, decided to take a risk and woo her until he won her heart.
That book was the first one I sold to Samhain, Giving Chase. It was the first book I worked on with my wonderful editor, Angela James. It was the first non-erotic romance, to a brand new digital publisher.

It’s funny because everything just fell into place. I loved the publisher, the editor and most of all, the story and town. The Chase family one I found myself writing as if I knew them. They all made sense to me. As their town made sense to me.
Writing the Chase Brothers series wasn’t necessarily always easy, but I knew those brothers and their eventual heroines. I knew Polly and Edward. Once I let them go, the stories all fell into place the way they were supposed to.
And when it was over, I was sad, but more than anything I was proud of the books and the experience I had writing them.
But while each Chase brother has his wife now, I wasn’t done with Petal. I wasn’t done with Tate Murphy’s raucous and loving band of siblings. I’d kept in mind that I wanted to go back if I ever found a way to do it right.
And I thought about Nathan and Beth a while, because it seemed to me they’re the ones whose stories needed telling first.
I had a few fits and starts. A few ideas, but none of them worked. Until Lily came to me. She was a little of another heroine I’d originally thought of for him. But he needed Lily and once I thought about the kind of woman she had to be and her story came to me, I knew the story was the right one.

The Murphy kids love each other. They’re not only brothers and sisters, but mother and father too. Any heroine matched with Nathan had to share that love of family. Lily not only comes back to Petal to help her mother deal with her teenage brother, she’s one of Nathan’s little sister’s best friends.

Lily is strong and smart. She’s committed to what’s important and she doesn’t quit. She loved him once, never really loved anyone like that since. She’s wary of him, but charmed. She likes him. She knows him and doesn’t take any of his crap. Really, Nathan never stands a chance.

Nathan is a handsome, charming man who loves his family and his job. He loves women, even if he tells himself he’s got such terrible taste in them he had to stop even trying to commit to any of them

He needs to work for Lily. That’s how he knows it’s real. She’s worth the trouble. Worth the way he’s got to take a long hard look at his mistakes and make amends with some serious woo and groveling.
And Once and Again came to me (after a few title changes). By the time I finished the book I knew I’d be back. Knew I had to tell Beth’s story (and yes, hers is the next proposal I’ll be finishing  up) and that I had to get back to Petal for a few more happily ever afters!


I’ve got two different prizes to give away:

1) A digital ARC of ONCE AND AGAIN to one lucky winner chosen from the responses to this post.

2) And then from all the comments to all the guest blogs and Chase/Petal posts I’m doing for Once and Again at my own blog, I’ll choose THREE winners of a complete set of the CHASE BROTHERS books in digital or paper – winner’s choice.  International entries are absolutely welcomed.

You know you want one of these prizes, so enter your comment below for a chance to win.  (Don't forget to enter your own blog URL for CommentLuv.)