I’d like to welcome Dena Garson today. Dena writes sensual romance. Her current/upcoming release is Loss of Control. And she’s bringing a recipe! I love when my visitors come bearing food
Welcome back Dena! It’s always a pleasure to visit with you. So, let’s get a few questions out of the way before we get to the good stuff…and of course your new book:
Why don’t you tell us how you start the writing process? Do you start with research, or plotting? Or do you outline?
Normally I see a scene in my head and then I start asking questions about who the character is and how they got into whatever situation I saw them in. Once I get a feel for the character I do an outline. I’ve learned I’m more productive when I’ve thought all the way through the plot. The outline keeps my ideas together and I tend to stay more focused.
Hmm. I wish I had that process down pat. I’m more of a pantser, but I have to admit, I’m seeing the benefits of at least outlining. So, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far that’s improved your writing from that very first book to now?
You gotta kill the doubt monster. Self-doubt will stifle creativity faster than anything. And it’s a bitch to keep it at bay. But you gotta. It’s okay if your first draft is a mess. It’s okay that you’ve got type-os and grammar mistakes. So what?! Get that first draft down then edit the heck out of it.
That’s great advice. Some of us get completely caught up in making it perfect right out of the gate. What’s next for you in terms of writing?
I have three books in progress. I’m working on a wolf shifter novella. That’s been fun. I’m also about half way through a follow up book to Mystic’s Touch. And I’m about half way through a sensual, paranormal, historical Native American romance (what can I say? I wanna do it all in one book!).
You sound as busy as me! And let me just congratulate you on that fantastic review in the RT Book Reviews Magazine you received for Mystic Touch. I’m so jealous and happy for you
Do you have any tours/events planned that you’d like to let us know about? Where can we find you over the next little while?
I’m going to be at Authors After Dark in Charlotte, NC Aug. 6-10 and then Romanticon in Akron, OH Oct. 10-12. I believe there are still tickets available to both!
So, now some fun facts. I’m going to throw 10 questions at you and we’ll let your readers know a little bit more about you. What is your:
Favorite Drink: ½ orange juice & ½ Ginger Ale
Favorite Food: Homemade mashed potatoes
Favorite Movie: That’s harder than picking a favorite book. Lately it’s been the Marvel Comic movies (The Avengers, Iron Man, etc.) but I rarely turn down a chance to watch any of the movies based on Jane Austin’s novels.
Favorite Summer Activity? Walking. Sounds weird but if I’m visiting a new place, I like to walk around a look at the architecture and landscape. If I’m at the beach, I love to walk next to the water and look for shells and see the colors and hear the sounds. If I’m home, well, I still like to get out and walk the neighborhood.
Favorite Winter Activity? Snuggling on the couch near the fire wrapped in my favorite fuzzy blanket
Favorite Vacation Spot (somewhere you’ve actually been)? Florida Keys
Dream Vacation Spot (you haven’t been there yet)? The UK
Dream TV/Movie Character you’d love to interview? Doctor Who
What’s the one question you’d love to ask them? Where (& when) are you gonna take me in the Tardis?
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Someplace where I could easily get to the beach.
Thanks Dena! I’m going to have to try the orange juice and ginger ale. That sounds really good! So now on to the real reason you’re here…oh, wait, first we need to discuss your newest release.
Loss of Control
A sensual contemporary romance
Jeanie’s lousy boss has sent her on yet another business trip. At least this one has a bonus—she gets to work with “Steve the Stud”, the office hottie who makes all the women weak-kneed, for the whole week. When she finds him to be smart and fun as well, she has no clue how she’ll finish the trip while staying professional.
Steve got burned the last time he dated a coworker and has vowed to never put himself in that position again, no matter how much he can’t stop thinking about Jeanie and her freckles. When Jeanie finds evidence of fraud, Steve works more closely with her than he imagined. It’ll take all his control to maintain his promise while Jeanie struggles with an ethical dilemma.
A Blush® contemporary romance from Ellora’s Cave.
For the fifth time in less than two months, Jeanie Madison found herself sitting hip to hip with about fifty strangers in a crowded airport terminal. Her cell phone rested between her shoulder and ear and she made appropriate “I’m listening” noises.
“Girl, you are crazy for going on another one of those trips,” Trish Stratford ranted at the other end of the conversation.
It was the umpteenth time Trish had told Jeanie the same thing in the last month, so Jeanie held her tongue, knowing it would do no good to interrupt her tirade. Being a best friend meant she had a right and a duty to say something when her friend was screwing up.
“You know you’re doing Frampton’s job for him! And he’s getting paid twice what you make.”
“I know, Trish. I know. But just think about the experience that I—”
“Experience! Who gives a crap about experience when you’re struggling to make your car payment each month? That no-good boss of yours is driving a company car and leaving early every day while you work your butt off.”
“I can put all of this on my résumé. Then I’ll have the satisfaction of telling him to stuff it when I find another job,” Jeanie said.
“Uh huh. You’re way too nice to do that.”
“No, I’m not. I could quit.” She wasn’t sure who she was trying to convince, herself or Trish.
“You’ll give that slime ball two weeks’ notice and just tell him you’ve found another opportunity with growth potential. You know you won’t tell him off the way he needs. You’re too nice.”
Jeanie pushed a piece of paper that was lying on the floor with the toe of her shoe. “You’re right. I won’t. But I like to think about doing it.”
“Yeah, well. You need to do more than think about it,” Trish grumbled.
“I know,” Jeanie sighed into the phone.
“Attention all passengers. Flight 2498 to Chicago with continuing service to Indianapolis will begin boarding in just a few minutes. Standby passengers should check in at the desk.”
As soon as the announcement came on the overhead speaker, Jeanie grabbed her purse and the paperback she was planning to read on the plane. “Hey, I better run. I need to grab some coffee before we board. I’ll call you later.”
“Okay. Call me immediately if you come across anything interesting on this trip.”
Jeanie laughed at Trish’s emphasis on the N in the word “interesting” that hinted at her desire for something more exciting than a normal workday. “I will. And don’t forget about GT. You know he gets in a snit if he doesn’t get his loving during the week. And the brat isn’t picky about who he gets it from.”
“I’ll make sure that overindulged cat of yours is taken care of.”
Jeanie disconnected their call then gathered her things to head to the café. She stopped when a deep, somewhat familiar voice floated through the raised newspaper across the aisle.
“Most men would get in a snit without their weekly loving.”
Unsure if the disembodied voice was directed at her, Jeanie tried to peer over the newspaper to see who it was. One corner of the paper folded down to reveal the face of one of the auditors from the company Jeanie worked for. He was the “cute one” all the girls talked about. She racked her brain, trying to think of his name. Steve something.
Relieved she sort of knew who was speaking, Jeanie said, “Well, yes, I would think so.” She slid her purse strap over one shoulder and stood. “But GT is especially demanding,” she added with a lift of her chin, surprising herself with her audacity.
Steve’s gaze scanned her from head to toe. “I see.”
She willed herself to not blush or squirm under his scrutiny but her pale skin immediately registered the slightest change in body temperature. The quick but appreciative light in Steve’s eye made her even warmer. She prayed her ears weren’t turning bright red or, if they were, that her hair would hide that fact. Looking like a sunburned radish wasn’t what she was going for now that she’d finally met “Steve the Stud”.
“The Stud” folded the paper and laid it across his lap. “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation but I couldn’t help but overhear that last part.” He pulled on one earlobe. “It sounded a little odd to ask someone else to, uh… Well…”
Jeanie stifled the laughter bubbling up from seeing Steve uncomfortable with his own line of questioning. All because of a cat. Although Steve wouldn’t know GT was a gray tabby. Whatever. That fact made the thought even funnier.
“I suppose that did sound a little strange.” Jeanie smirked, not worrying if she sounded like a doofus. “By the way, what is your name? We’ve been passing each other a lot this month but I’ve never stopped to ask.”
“You’re right. We never have met officially.” He stood and offered his hand in greeting. “Steve Waltman. Audit.”
Jeanie shook his hand and looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. That had to be one of the reasons the girls in the office were all smitten with him. Not only did he fill out his jacket nicely but the sandy-blond hair and blue eyes were a traditionally lethal combination. And so far he seemed to be a nice guy, with a sense of humor to boot.
If she wasn’t careful she could be in serious trouble.
“Jeanie Madison. I’m in Accounts Payable,” she said, letting her hand linger in his a little longer than usual.
“Jeanie. It’s nice to put a name to a face. We have been coming and going at the same time these days. Where are you off to this morning?”
“Indianapolis. What about you?”
“Same.” Steve tucked his folded newspaper under his arm. “You going in for the transition?”
“Yeah. You too?”
“Afraid so. Looks as if we’ll be hanging out together this week.”
A little flutter started somewhere deep in Jeanie’s belly. She wasn’t sure if it was from hunger or nervousness at the thought of being in the same location, probably even the same hotel, as Mr. Hottie for a whole week.
“Guess so.” Erotic images of Steve and herself in a hotel room triggered another burst of heat through her body. A little distance might be best before her cheeks burst into flame. “I was just going to get coffee.” As a second thought she added, “I’ll make you a deal. If you’ll watch my bag and save my seat, I’ll grab some for you too.”
Steve checked his watch. “That would be great. Black coffee with a couple of creamers and a sweetener.”
He reached for his wallet but Jeanie waved him away from it. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get it.” She pushed her suitcase up against her vacated seat then turned to make her escape.
“Thanks. I’ll buy next time.”
“All right,” she tossed over her shoulder as she picked her way through the somewhat crowded aisle.
It was just a short walk to the café but it gave her time to settle the butterflies in her stomach. However it wasn’t long enough to halt the naughty thoughts rolling around in her head. As she waited in line she watched the girl behind the counter decorate the top of someone’s drink with a mound of whipped cream and a swirl of chocolate.
In Jeanie’s mind that mound of whipped cream belonged on Steve’s bare chest.
Or perhaps lower.
With a cherry on top.
Dena Garson loves to read romance—the hotter the better. When one of her BFFs said “one of us should be writing this stuff”, she took up the challenge. If she isn’t writing, she’s designing jewelry but somehow she still manages to make it into the office on a regular basis.
The following recipe is for a Cherry Refrigerator Dessert. There is no connection to any of my books but this dessert is very special to me personally. It was something my grandmother made every time we went to visit her. I love it and I hope your audience will too.
Cherry Refrigerator Dessert
- 1 sick butter
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
Combine ingredients, flatten in bottom of glass baking dish (I use a large rectangle Pyrex)
Bake 15 minutes at 325 degrees then cool
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups Cool Whip
Combine and spread over crust
- 1 can of cherry pie filling > spread over the cream cheese layer
- 1 large vanilla pudding (made with ½ the milk asked for) > spread over the cherries
- 1 large Cool Whip > spread over the vanilla pudding layer
Cover and chill then serve.
Thanks Dena! I cannot wait to try this on out this summer! And I hope you come back soon