Sunday, January 11, 2009

Guest Blogger: Kathryn Shay and a book giveaway!

Good morning, Romance Reviews Today Readers.

Though I’ve been on your site before, let me introduce myself to anyone here unfamiliar with my work and tell you about my newest book. I’m Kathryn Shay and I write for Harlequin Superromance and The Berkley Publishing Group. I have 23 Supers and ten Berkley Sensations published; there are over four million copies of my books in print. I write contemporary romance, sometimes with a bit of suspense thrown in. I deal mostly with everyday characters like firefighters, cops, teachers and construction workers, but occasionally I have a TV chef, a senator or a secret service agent as the hero or heroine. I like to explore social issues and I’m told my books are highly emotional, often tearjerkers, and have hints of humor.

A MAN SHE COULDN’T FORGET focuses on your not-so-average heroine, Clare Boneli. After a bad accident, she wakes up in the hospital with amnesia, and there seem to be two men in her life, vying for her attention and her love. One is the owner of the TV station where she has a local cooking show, and one is her best friend and illustrator of her popular cookbooks. Torn between them, it doesn’t take Clare long to figure out something’s wrong. What the reader knows, and Clare doesn’t, is that neither man wants her to remember everything that happened the night she skidded off the road.

How’s this for a teaser?

I love reading romance novels, and looking back on my life, I think I was always meant to write romance. At 15, I penned a short story about a female reporter who goes to New York City to work on an all-male newspaper and butts heads with the stubborn editor. At the time, women were not a real component of hard news reporting and instead were relegated to the society pages. Of course, the editor falls head over heels for the heroine, and she makes him grovel.

My bent toward romance was also evident in my obsession with soap operas all during high school and college. I have three older sisters and we used to have conversations about the characters as if they were real people.

Also in high school, I’d read assigned works, like THE SCARLET LETTER, and think, “Okay, this is good, but give me more about Hester and Arthur. That’s the interesting part.” And when I became an English teacher, it was fun telling my students how I felt about that book when we read it together in class.

In my twenties and thirties, I went on to read bestsellers—authors like Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sydney Sheldon, and Howard Fast. I loved those books, but still couldn’t wait to get to the romances parts!

Then when I was about forty, I picked up Judith McNaught’s DOUBLE STANDARDS, not knowing it was a romance novel. I read it all in one sitting and was mesmerized by this new-to-me genre--it was all about the love story!!!! I went out and got WHITNEY MY LOVE, which remains one of my favorite books, and then began to read authors like Nora Roberts, Linda Howard and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Today, they remain my in my top five authors.

Now I get to write my own stories, and they focus on the romance, although I often do have a significant external plot.

I’d be fascinated to hear about your reading history: what did you start out reading? How did it progress into genre fiction and romance? Have your reading preferences changed over the years?

Kathy Shay

Comment away and one person will be chosen to win an autographed copy of A MAN SHE COULDN'T FORGET or from Kathryn's backlist. Meanwhile, also enjoy the video trailer of A MAN SHE COULDN'T FORGET:


Anonymous said...

i love your way of writing, it makes a reader part of the story and i think this book-the man she couldn't forget will just be as smashing as your other books., botswana

Laurie G said...

In the past, I've really enjoyed both your firefighter and cop series heroes. Since I was once a RN, I like the amnesia theme too. Sounds interesting!!

Do you receive a lot of comments from your students or their parents about your romance writing?

Unknown said...

Good Morning, This book sounds very intriguing I havent had the pleasure of reading any of your material YET. I love to find authors that are new to me. I absolutely love Linda Howard's writing style her books drag me in and amaze me until the end. I look forward to snagging one of your books soon.

Patti said...

Kathryn is having trouble responding, so here are a couple of comments she emailed me with:


Thanks so much for the nice comments about my work. I'm so glad you've enjoyed it. I really do try to make the reader feel part of the story.


Those firefighters!!! Don't you love them?

Yes, my students were thrilled about my writing and always asked tons of questions. A few little angels went out and got the books just to read the love scenes. It was interesting how many of their mothers read my work. The kids and their parents often came to my booksignings. The teachers and administrators did the same and it was great fun to have a whole community to share my books with.


Anonymous said...

Testing--I'm trying to log in anonymously, and will just sign my name below. I'm determined to get on this sit.
Kathy Shay

aromagik said...

I started out reading mostly horror (and even earlier than that, young adult, especially teen romances) and a pretty wide variety of genres, then I read a lot of Spanish/Hispanic lit and women's lit in college (required reading), but ever since I started reading romances when I was pregnant (hormones!), I'm really not interested in reading anything else. Now if it isn't a romance, I don't even give it a glance. (the exception would be self-help books on autism, but that's a totally different subject).


Lisa F. said...

We share some of the same favorite authors. I haven't read any of your work, but I visited your website and found quite a few that sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading stories with everyday life characters. I look forward to finding your stuff! Thanks!

Lori Ann said...

"A Man She Couldn't Forget" sounds really interesting. Thanks for the book description.

I started reading romances while I was in college about 10 years ago. I needed a break from all the history and philosophy books I was swamped reading. When I went home for Christmas break, I asked my mom for a good book to read and she gave me a couple of Lisa Kleypas's books. I loved them! Once I started reading romances, I couldn't stop.

Anonymous said...

I like that you use relatively real people in your books. I can't get into the princess/billionaire books. Although I enjoy some paranormal, and they defiantly are not real people (or even people at all in some cases)

Anonymous said...

It's really good for me to read that so many of you like stories about everyday life people. It's all I can really write, and with the preponderance of paranormal and erotica, sometimes I wonder if I'm out of touch with my book content.

I wish I had started read romances a lot earlier like some of you did. I could have used it in college with all the classics I had to read for literature classes.

I also know what you mean about not wanting to read other types. I do participate in a bookclub, which is about the only thing that gets me to read current bestsellers.
Kathy Shay (Not anonymous. I still can't get in the right way. Any suggestions?)

Estella said...

Having been a volunteer firefighter for many years, I truly enjoy your firefighter stories.

mindy said...

book sounds totally captivating thanks for the giveaway

Fedora said...

Hi, Kathy! I've been reading romance for eons--I started with the YA stuff like the Sweet Valley High and Silhouette First Love (am I dating myself yet? ;)), and a geometry classmate introduced me to grown-up romances in high school. I read a ton of category titles, mostly contemporary, and took a bit of a break in college. I stumbled across a Jennifer Crusie at the library after graduation, and that re-hooked me. I've been reading everything ever since, starting with mostly contemporary, then because of recommendations, I've been slowly branching out into trying historicals, paranormals, etc... So many books, so little time! I still love category titles though--so many excellent authors who write them, and Superromance is a favorite of mine.

Congrats on A Man She Couldn't Forget, and on all your successes!

And nothing like a good grovel to really make a romance novel really fun to read! :)

Anonymous said...

Estella--I'm hoping to sell another firefighter story soon.

Mindy--captivating? Oh, I like that.

Fichen--your reading history is intersting. I remember reading Sweet Valley with my daughter, so that dates me! Thanks for your comments.

It's Eastern time here so I'll check back in the morning.
Kathy Shay

Mariee said...

When I started reading it was mostly contemporary and thrillers. But nowadays I only read romance.

A Man She Couldn't Forget sounds really good!

Unknown said...

I started out reading young adult fiction and non-fiction. Then I moved on to read romance. These days I read mostly romance and women's fiction.

A Man She Couldn't forget sounds like a great read and the book trailer is lovely.

Maureen said...

I started out reading my mother's Harlequin romances but then went on to read best sellers after college. When my children were in grammar school and picking out books in the library I picked up a book by Lavryle Spencer and have been reading all different types of romances since.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me on your site. I enjoyed talking about my work and learning about you all.
Kathy Shay

Jodi said...

Your book sounds great. I will have to head to Walmart and pick it up! Then, the next stop will be the UBS to see if I can find a few of your other books that caught my attention!

silverhartgirl said...

I started reading Stephen king and then i slowly went to romances.Now I love them

darbyscloset said...

Oh Goodness, my reading history is all over the map! I started out with Thrillers, then moved on to Mystery/Suspense,History, Paranormal and true life. I still read all these different genres yet they all have 2 things in common, romance and a level of suspense...will the guy get the girl, etc.
Thanks so much,
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com