RRT: Tell us about your newest release.
LM: It’s called Once Tasted and it’s the second book in my Silver Creek series. A three thousand-acre spread located in northern California, Silver Creek ranch is owned and run by the Knowles family. Once Tasted tells the story of Reid Knowles.
A smooth-talking, laidback cowboy, Reid and his bright blue eyes can dazzle just about any woman--except for Mia Bodell, whose youthful infatuation for Reid was killed years ago. For his part, Reid would just as soon steer clear of Mia and her pointed disdain. Unfortunately, he’s made a promise to Mia’s uncle to help Mia manage the winery she and her uncle own that neighbors Silver Creek Ranch. All too soon the sparks begin to fly between Mia and Reid as their long-denied attraction becomes impossible to ignore.
RRT: What makes your story special to you?
LM: I love stories about second chances and I love writing about adolescent heartbreak. Once Tasted has both. I also had a great time writing about Mia--the super-wine geek-- and Reid, the super-smooth cowboy. They were such fun to put together in a room and watch what happened.
RRT: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LM: I came to writing fairly late--in my twenties. I’ve always loved creating. I drew and did photography, ceramics, and sculpture but I didn’t really try my hand at writing (in fact, I resisted writing because I have writers in my family and so know from close observation how darned hard it is) until I was in graduate school studying art education. A story came to me and I started scribbling it down in the back of my notebook during some of my less than captivating classes. That story became the first book I sold, Ride a Dark Horse.
RRT: What is a typical writing day like?
LM: I wake up at six a.m., drink lots of coffee, walk my dog, come home, make some more coffee, and start to write--trying not to waste too many precious minutes online and often failing. Just because I recognize the good advice dispensed by my editor doesn’t mean I always follow it! At two p.m. I take a break and walk the dog again and when I return I try and get another hour or two in before I stop for the day to exercise, get the groceries, cook dinner, and engage with the world. If I’m getting close to my deadline, I’ll write in the evening, too. That’s when things get ugly.
RRT: Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
LM: I have to write near my dog, Hardy. There’s something about his presence that comforts and grounds me, especially when I’m struggling to get words on the page. He’s also the best alarm clock one could ask for, knows to the minute when the writing day is over and it’s time for a walk. And though it may seem counterintuitive to have a dog determine when I quit for the day, I’ve realized that getting out of the house, interacting with the world, and moving my body are important in keeping my ideas flowing. Hardy must, too.
RRT: What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?
LM: That the writing never gets easier. I’m on my tenth book and it’s still a hard slog. Every time I start anew I feel like throwing in the towel. It’s as if I forget every lesson painstakingly learned from the previous book. Writing can be a real exercise in humiliation.
RRT: What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
LM: Reading authors like Nora Roberts, Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, and Linda Howard made me dream of writing stories as good as theirs. And one of my closest childhood friends introduced me to my first romance novel. It was Jennifer Wilde’s Love’s Tender Fury. Anyone remember it?
RRT: What does your family think about your career as a published author?
LM: Oh, they’re simply amazing in their support. They read my manuscripts and offer comments, they give me time to write and talk me down when I’m nearly hysterical with anxiety about whether my writing’s any good or whether I’ll ever publish again. I really couldn’t ask for more.
RRT: Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
LM: I love to travel and go to museums, do photography, dig in the garden, ride horses, hang out with my friends and their animals, walk, bike, swim, and eat really good meals that include some kind of chocolate dessert.
RRT: Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
LM: I’m working on the next book in the Silver Creek series, Once Touched. It’s Quinn Knowles’s story--she’s Reid’s younger sister and a cowgirl and animal lover. Were Quinn to be handed a frog with the promise that her kiss could transform the amphibian into a prince, she’d open her fingers and let it hop away unbussed to the nearest lily pad. She’d much rather the frog remain a frog. What would she possibly want with a human male--prince or commoner--hanging around? I had to come up with a pretty amazing man to make Quinn rethink her position.
RRT: How can readers connect with you online?
LM: You can find me on my website at: www.lauramoorebooks.com. I’m also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LauraMooreBooks or you can follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LauraMooreBooks. I also love email, so feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for letting me visit today! As thanks, I’d love to offer a copy of Once Tasted to a reader who comments below. The winner will be chosen at random by the wonderful Romance Reviews Today. Good Luck! And I hope you get a chance to read Once Tasted!
Once Tasted Blurb:
Everything has come easily to Reid Knowles, the middle son of a California ranching family. But his charmed life is suddenly complicated when his neighbor, Thomas Bodell, persuades him to help with the business management of his winery, which he is leaving to his niece, Mia.
In a life marked by loss, nothing has ever come easily to Mia Bodell. Love included. In high school her heart was crushed by Reid. The hurt lingers. When Mia learns of her uncle’s plan, she makes it clear that she’d rather be roped to a steer than to Reid Knowles.
A night of unbridled passion changes things. One taste of Mia awakens an unfamiliar yearning in Reid, and he vows to find a way to win her trust.
Mia is achingly aware that her teenage heartthrob has matured into a devastatingly handsome man. But can the budding winemaker trust her heart to a playboy with no interest in settling down? From Reid’s first intoxicating kiss to his unexpectedly tender seduction, Mia is swept into a passionate affair that could leave her heart in pieces . . . or give her everything she has ever wanted.
Excerpt from Once Tasted:
Reid Knowles loved life’s finer pleasures: the feel of a warm, enthusiastic woman moving against him, and the rush of a powerful horse carrying him over the fields in a ground-eating run. Today he was enjoying another: a dawn ride on his Harley, its engine roaring beneath him as he took Route 1’s serpentine curves. He’d chosen the coastal route for the simple reason that it was beautiful. The salty bite to the California wind against his face felt great after the weeks he’d spent in the sauna that was South Carolina in early summer.
That he was presently enjoying only item number three on his list of pleasures didn’t bother him at all, not when every mile flying beneath his wheels brought him closer to numbers one and two. Acacia, California, had some exceptionally pretty women living in it, and his home, Silver Creek Ranch, had some of the finest quarter horses to be found anywhere. In just a few hours, he’d be riding his own, Sirrus, a nine-year-old gelding he’d trained since birth.
No, he had no complaints at all. Life was good. And if there were moments when he recognized that maybe everything in it came to him a little too easily, well, this wasn’t one of them.
He was happy.
With a grin into the morning wind, he dropped down a gear on the throttle and leaned into the next curve.
Oh, damn, he must be back.
Mia Bodell didn’t need to be a modern-day Sherlock Holmes to guess who’d put the dreamy expression on Tracy Crofta’s face at Spillin’ the Beans. The barista fairly floated over the wide-planked, unvarnished floors as she took Mia’s order, humming to the hissing of the steamer as she prepared her triple-shot latte.
There were other signs, too.
Tracy wasn’t the only blissed-out female in the coffee shop. Betty Shales, who was sixty if she was a day, wore a beatific smile. Stationed behind the cash register, she stopped patting her gray dreadlocks only long enough to take Mia’s money.
But in case Mia had suffered temporary blindness and missed the women’s joyous glow, she’d have had to be wearing earplugs to miss the trills of laughter and excited chatter when, latte in hand, she walked in to the post office—which also housed the local bank, general store, and luncheonette.
Not many towns could boast of having a post office where you could not only pick up your mail but also cash your checks, order a stack of buttermilk pancakes or a burger, pick up a loaf of bread and a bottle of Tide, and get your daily dose of the latest happenings in Acacia, too. The post office–general store–luncheonette wasn’t just Acacia’s hub. It was Gossip Central.
Mia wasn’t big on gossip. She’d been the butt of it too often. But as she inserted her key into the metal mailbox and retrieved the mail, dropping half of it into the recycling bin and tucking the rest of it—bills, bills, and more bills—under her arm, the air around her buzzed. Reid Knowles’s name reverberated from all corners of the interior.
There was no escaping it.
The scent of freshly baked goods filled the spacious interior—another reason why the post office was such a popular place. Knowing how much her uncle Thomas loved the luncheonette’s blueberry muffins, Mia got in line. And since no good deed went unpunished, she spent the next few minutes breathing in the aroma of melted butter, flour, and sugar while listening to Maebeth Krohner and Nancy Del Ray, who were working the morning shift at the luncheonette, sing Reid Knowles’s praises.
“Mm-hmm, yeah, he got back today and dropped in to say hi.” Nancy’s voice held a wealth of satisfaction. Nancy had two small children and was five years older than Reid, but that didn’t stop the divorcée from tracking his coming and goings with the breathlessness of a tween at a One Direction concert.
“Dang.” Maebeth shook her head. “I knew I didn’t need to fold the clothes sitting in the dryer this morning. I’d have seen Reid otherwise. Was he looking as fine as ever?”
Thirty and single, Maebeth made no bones about how much she liked Reid—really liked Reid. In this she was not alone.
“Could you doubt it? The man rode his motorcycle all the way from South Carolina. He came in here looking windblown and scruffy,” Nancy replied.
“Oh Lord.” Maebeth made a show of fanning herself.
It was nine A.M.; the luncheonette was busy and would stay that way until around two o’clock. Yet even as the two women dropped slices of multigrain bread into the toaster, set plates filled with steaming scrambled eggs and hash browns in front of hungry customers, and deposited stacks of dirty plates and empty coffee cups into a partially filled black rubber tub, their conversation didn’t skip a beat.
“Such a bummer I missed him,” Maebeth repeated dolefully. “You think he’ll be at The Drop tonight?”
“I expect so,” Nancy said.
“His being back sure will liven up the place.”
Nancy nodded in agreement. “Mom’s already offered to take the kids tonight so I can slip into my boogie shoes.”
Mia was tempted to roll her eyes at the women’s preoccupation with Reid Knowles and his limitless appeal. She refrained, reminding herself about throwing stones at glass houses.
About Laura Moore:
National bestselling contemporary romance author Laura Moore began writing while pursuing a graduate degree in art education. Her first story filled an entire notebook before she realized that she might actually have penned a love story that others might want to read. Ride A Dark Horse was published a year later.
An accomplished rider and animal lover, Laura lives in Rhode Island, with her husband, two children, and their black Lab. Their cat Zevon keeps them all in line.
You can find Laura at:
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