King Stud is a contemporary romance about the importance of family - biological or made - and how living your life for others is never a good idea.
2. What makes your story special to you?
King Stud works for me because the hero hits close to home, one of the main story arcs is a long-time dream, and the setting is very familiar. My husband's a carpenter, and so is my hero Ryan. I won't say I based Ryan on my husband, but there are some parallels. Ryan's a bigger flirt (lol!) but they're both loyal and caring and kind.
I've always wanted to restore an older house, and part of my motivation for writing King Stud was to vicariously live out my dream. Danielle inherits her grandmother's 1930s Craftsman, and while her initial goal is to spiff it up and sell it, the process of remodeling teaches her about the importance of family roots.
And finally, setting a story in my home town of Seattle makes it special to me. I know the details of the place, things like how to avoid the worst traffic and where to find the best Thai food and where to go for a romantic date in the middle of winter. I love it when other writers include little tidbits like those in their work, because I think they make the settings come alive.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in grade school. Of course, it took me about forty years to actually do it. Seriously! When I got close to the age of 50, I realized if I was going to make the writer thing happen, I better get on it. A couple years (and many hours at the laptop and much angst) later I published my first novel.
4. What is a typical writing day like?
I'm usually on the laptop from around 6am till about 2pm, unless the day job interferes. I'm not terribly structured, and spend way too much time on Facebook, but that's the block I have set aside for writing, editing, blogging, and the like.
5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
Have I mentioned Facebook? (lol!) No, seriously, I'm a plotter, so I like to have a fair amount of structure in place before I start writing. None of it's carved in stone, and I'll make changes up until the day the publisher tells me to stop, but I do a lot of thought-work before I open the doc.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?
I'm still learning all the time, but one of my first, earliest lessons was how incredibly supportive other writers are. I've been doing this a little while now, and I've honestly never come across anyone who hasn't been friendly and fun. I know that there's bad behavior out there, but more often I'm left with the feeling that there's space for everyone's voice, which I think is totally cool.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
For author influences, I credit Charlaine Harris, because something about Dead Until Dark made me say "I wanna do THAT", Janet Evanovich because there's nothing funnier than monkeys in tin foil hats, and Alexis Hall because he routinely demonstrates the incredible power of gorgeous language in genre fiction.
I've made so many writer friends who regularly help, encourage, and inspire me that I'm afraid to list them because I don't want to forget anybody. I have an awesome group of beta readers who have no problem telling me when I suck in the nicest possible way. I love learning from them, and I love the way they push me to make my work better.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They're proud of the work I do. They don't read much of it - it's too naughty for my teenagers and my mother doesn't do F-bombs - but their patience and support makes it possible for me to sit at the laptop and get words on the page.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
My family is a priority. This summer both teenagers have taken drivers ed., so we're doing a lot of practice driving around the neighborhood. For my day job I work as a neonatal nurse practitioner in a large NICU. I'm also a life-long choir geek and have sung in cover bands for over twenty years. I like crochet and cross stitch and walking the dog and reading. Lots and lots of reading!
10. Can you tell us about what's coming up next for you writing wise?
I'm working on the sequel to King Stud, a book called Loose Cannon that'll tell the story of Ryan's younger brother Joey. I've also just started a co-writing project with my friend Irene. It's an m/m paranormal romance set in the Louisiana swamps and boy howdy am I having fun!
11. How can readers connect with you online?
I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). Come find me. We'll have fun! a Rafflecopter giveaway
The hardest part of any remodel is avoiding the studs...
Danielle’s got three months to make her Grandmother’s rundown Craftsman house livable. Her game plan is to get in, get grubby, and get back home to L.A. She needs a carpenter, and her best friend’s younger brother is a good one. It’s hard to ignore the buffed body under Ryan’s paint-splattered sweatshirts, but her friend declares he’s off-limits so Danielle reluctantly agrees.
Ryan doesn’t have the cleanest record, anyway. His recently ex-ed girlfriend wants him back, and he has a reputation for brawling. He’s also had a crush on Danielle since he was a kid. Despite their nine-year age difference, he knows she’s worth pursuing.
Soon the paint under Danielle’s fingernails starts feeling more natural than the L.A. sunshine. She’ll have to navigate plumbing disasters, money problems, and one seriously cranky best friend to find something she hasn’t had before: a real home, and a man who loves her.
“Right.” Ryan flipped the ice pack from one hand to the other. “Why’d your grandmother leave you the house?”
“Because I’m cute.” She scraped back a stray hank of hair, her smile as blank as she could make it. Danielle suspected her grandmother had left her the house because it had always been her safe place, but Ryan didn’t need a rehash of her poor-little-rich-girl saga.
His eyes still held a question, but after a moment he nodded and stepped farther back. “Let’s get those boards.”
They carried in the two-by-sixes, silence buffering their actions. Over the weekend, Ryan had widened the doorways on either end of the dining room, though the rough edges needed to be enclosed in trim. Once they carried in all the supplies, Ryan stroked the molding she’d sanded. “Nice work with these.” A half grin showed off his dimples. “This place is going to be sweet when we get it done.”
“I’ll take your word for it.” She went over to the kitchen sink, looking out over the old wooden porch to the Puget Sound. A single light moved across the blackness. “Was it hard to open up the doorways?”
“Just had to work around the king studs.”
I bet I could work around your king stud just fine. “The what?” Danielle broke out a super-plastic smile, hoping Ryan couldn’t guess what was on her mind.
“The extra support beams framing the doors and windows.” He glanced at her, doing a quick double-take. “What?”
She dredged up willpower from some deep internal source, in need of every shred to keep pretending he was just a remodeling buddy. “Nothing.”
“The homeowner’s always right.” He chuckled and headed back into the living room. “If you’re happy with my work, next summer you can hire me to rebuild that nasty old porch out back.”
Danielle’s feet stuck as she got a sudden visual of Ryan, shirtless and sweaty, working in her backyard under the sun. By the time she could move again, he had his jacket on and was headed for the front door.
“Well, thanks for dropping stuff off,” she said.
“Need more ice on my shoulder.” He paused with his hand on the doorframe, assessing her with that perfectly controlled heat, an expression way too grown up for only twenty-four. “I’ll swing by tomorrow and work on the trim.”
Her fluttery response demonstrated all the maturity of a teenager.
“Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, Mom said to make sure you know you’re welcome to join us for Thanksgiving dinner,” he said.
Since she couldn’t hug Ryan, Danielle hugged herself. “Really? That’d be awesome.”
“Maeve didn’t mention it, did she?”
“No, but it’s not the night before.” She laughed, because Maeve had always sucked at planning things in advance. Her laugh made Ryan laugh, and then things were better.
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon...and I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.