Hi gang. Cynthia D’Alba here. Thanks for much for having me on romance reviews today.
1. Tell us about your newest release.
My latest book is the second release in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series from Samhain Publishing. TEXAS TANGO is the story of a widower who doesn’t need (or want) another wife and a traveling physician who doesn’t want (or need) roots. But Dr. Caroline Graham owns a piece of property Travis Montgomery has coveted for years. He’ll stop at nothing to add the acreage to his ranch but when the price is for him to help Caroline Graham stage a faux wedding for her dying grandmother, he has to wonder if the cost is too much. But once the deal is made, he stands by it even when all their house of cards comes tumbling down around then.
When I finished the book and sent it to my editor, she sent it back saying, “Write me a new ending. I don’t like this one.” I was so bummed, sure that I didn’t have another ending in me. I called Donnell Ann Bell, a fellow writer who is fabulous to bounce ideas around with. Ten minutes on the phone and my story took a turn that improved the ending tenfold. So what I learned...Listen to my editor (not surprising however) and don’t hesitate to reach out your fellow authors when you need an ear (again not surprising but nice to remember.)
3. How long have you been writing?
I started down the writing path in 2006. Coming from the academic world, one of the things an academic does when faced with an unknown is to study it, so I spent most of 2006 traveling around to writer conferences learning more about the craft. I started entering contests in 2007, finaling and winning a few but I still had so much to learn. Samhain Publishing bought my first book, Texas Two Step, in April 2011.
4. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
My closest friends aren’t really heavy readers but they have been wonderful cheerleaders and supporters. In many ways, they get more excited than I do for every book or award or recognition.
As far as authors, the first person who comes to mind (and who is totally clueless on the effect she had on me) is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Not because she mentored me or reviewed my unpublished work but because of the incredible books she writes. She is the reason I write. I want readers to feel what I feel when I finish one of her books...a long sigh, a smile, and “that was so good” feeling. One of the main reasons I write romance is for that “oh...that was so good” reaction. I love the falling in love process...the racing hearts, sweaty hands, jumpy nervous stomach when the heroine sees “him” (or visa versa). I want to give my readers that experience when they read my books.
After SEP, there are a long list of authors who have influenced me...And trust me, this is just a partial list! Delilah Devlin, Elle James, Leigh Duncan, Kristan Higgins.
5. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
At first, they sort of rolled their eyes and figuratively patted me on the head. I’ve done a lot of different jobs in my life. Nurse. Nurse Educator. Prenatal Genetics program coordinator. Medical administrator. Graduate school program coordinator. Assistant Dean in a College of Business. They probably thought, this too shall pass.
But when my first book came out, their reactions have changed. Now, they are quite proud and thrilled. They love to tell people about me. To tell you the truth, my family and friends are more likely to tell people about my writing than I am!
But I did have to draw the line to some degree about daytime hours. When you work out of your house (like being a writer), some folks don’t understand. You’re home so it’s must be okay to call, come by, ask you to go shopping, etc.
My mom is finally getting the message. I got her a Samsung Galaxy 4. Now she sends me a text instead of calling! I love it and it works for us. I can call her when I take a break. And, the last time I checked out cell bill (we are all on a family plan), mom had more text messages that me and my husband combined! She has taken to texting like a teenager with a new phone.
6. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I was a reader long before I was writer. I love to read. To lose myself in the pages of a book (albeit I read almost exclusively digital) is the best gift I can give myself.
I live on a lake but I’m not much of a swimmer. I do love to take my pontoon boat out cruising around, looking at the multimillion dollar real estate.
I’ve really been getting into yard work over the last couple of years although I confess I’m better at pulling out weeds, raking, mowing and destroying stuff than I am at planting new things. New plantings full under my husband’s jurisdiction. He’s the gardener with the green thumb. He told me he feels sorry for plants that come home with me!
I do counted cross-stitch when I have time. Now I’m experimenting with doing embroidery.
7. Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
Thanks for asking that! I have a novella (still in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series) coming out February 2014. Readers of Texas Two Step insisted that Drake Gentry (the heroine’s ex-husband) get his happily-ever-after. Heck, I even got a phone call from my sister demanding I tell her who Drake ended up with. Hee hee. I didn’t. J So I wrote his story in a novella entitled Texas Fandango. It’s a little hot and spicy, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! J
Then in June 2014, I have a short story in Cowboy Heat, an anthology of cowboy stories edited by Delilah Devlin. It’s an impressive group of authors and I’m THRILLED to be a part of it.
And I finishing up the third book in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series. The working title is Texas Twist.
8. How can readers connect with you online?
I do LOVE to hear from and chat with readers so feel free to gab me up online!
Or if snail mail is their thing, I can be reached at: PO Box 2116 Hot Springs, AR 71914
A little bit about Texas Tango:
Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 2
Dr. Caroline Graham is happy with her nomadic lifestyle fulfilling short-term medical contracts. No emotional commitments, no disappointments. She’s always the one to walk away, never the one left behind. But now her great-uncle is gone and her grandmother is on her deathbed, more concerned about Caroline’s lack of a husband than her own demise. What’s the harm in a little white lie? If a wedding will give her grandmother peace, then a wedding she shall have.
Travis Montgomery has one dream left—to build the ranch he and his wife planned before he lost her to cancer. There’s just one thing standing between him and the last bit of acreage he needs—a last living heir who has one traveling foot out the door…and an unusual request that challenges his determination to never again place his heart at risk. The land he wants in exchange for a faux marriage. Everyone wins. Until things start to snowball…and the hearts they stand to lose are their own.
Warning: This book contains a tortured widower who doesn’t want a wife and an independent doctor who doesn’t want a husband. Hot stuff between the sheets and failed efforts to avoid emotional involvements.
Texas Tango is available at any online bookstore or check one of the links below
About Cynthia D’Alba:
Cynthia D’Alba was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She started writing on a challenge from her husband (who got tired of watching her read over 1000 books one year!) and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun. Now she writes full time.
In the spirit of Christmas sneaking up on us, I’ll pick among the comments for someone to take home a western-themed ornament. Here’s just a sample…
AND there’s more chances to win on my TEXAS TANGO Jewelry-Themed Rafflecopter Giveaway. I’m at a number of stops today, so check out my personal blog for other places you can win!
AND I have swag for the asking! But when it’s gone, it’s gone. Pens, jar openers, postcards, bookmarks, trading cards…just go by my contact page and send me a note.
Thanks again for inviting me in for the day!