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What are you currently reading?
Night Shift by Charlaine Harris. I really enjoyed this series, which is sort of a spinoff from a couple of her other series.
Do you have a favorite author? Who is it:
Oh gee, I have lots of favorite authors. Maybe Loretta Chase since she’s on my autobuy list.
When did you start writing?
Actually, I’ve been writing for most of my life, but I started writing romance about ten years ago.
Why do you write?
I’m retired from teaching, so writing became my retirement job. I enjoy coming up with stories and working them out, and I enjoy creating characters. It’s really a great reason to get up and get going every day.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
My books would appeal to readers who like tough, snarky heroes and heroines. My heroines are usually self-confident types who tend toward sarcasm. My heroes are what I like to think of as “self-aware alphas.” They’re strong, independent guys who still manage to have a sense of humor about themselves.
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? Why? What would you say to them?
I should probably come up with somebody distinguished and saintly, but at this point I’d really like to go back and have a conversation with legendary Texas writer Molly Ivins. I’d say, “Let me tell you what’s going on in the 2016 elections,” and then I’d listen to her laugh.
How did you come up with the idea for your book? Why did you want to write it?
Running On Empty is book 3 in my Salt Box Trilogy. I really wanted to end the series with a book about one of the supporting characters in book 1 (Finding Mr. Right Now), Ronnie Ventura. Ronnie’s pretty innocent and slightly exasperating in book 1. I wanted to show the way she’s grown, and how a character who starts out naïve can end up the heroine of her own story.
Tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Angela Waters is my cover artist, as she was with books 1 and 2 in the trilogy. The cover for Finding Mr. Right Now established the pattern for the series—a romantic couple, a mountain backdrop, and a gorgeous sunset/sunrise. I wanted the same elements for this cover, but I also wanted to emphasize that the couple here are athletes and they don’t always get along. The couple we chose also sort of symbolize the conflict between the hero and heroine: he thinks she’s slightly loopy for doing what she’s doing. But she’s on top of things, and she knows she’s right!
Who would you cast for the main characters if your book became a movie?
For Ronnie, I’d go with Brooke D’Orsay, who played Paige on Royal Pains. She really looks the part, and I’m guessing she’d be a believable athlete. For Ted, David Guintoli from Grimm. He also looks the part, and does a credible job of being annoyed.
How about an excerpt from your book meant to capture our imagination and make us want to read more?
She turned to look at him full on, her eyes like brown velvet. His pulse kicked up a few hundred beats.
“Would you like me to go with you tomorrow? As your trainer?” He held her gaze for a long moment.
She shook her head, her lips moving up in a slight smile. “No. Thanks, but no. This is my problem, and I’m going to deal with it.”
His hand moved to the side of her face, almost without any conscious design on his part. Her skin felt like satin, soft and warm. Velvet eyes, satin skin, a smile like…Ronnie. He didn’t have any metaphors for that. He rubbed his thumb across her upper lip, feeling it pucker slightly beneath his touch.
His cock was straining, heat throbbing in his veins. She’s vulnerable. Don’t take advantage of her, you jerk.
Ronnie stared at him wide-eyed, almost like a child. Defenseless, exposed. Leave her alone.
And then she moved forward swiftly, bringing her hands to the sides of his face, and kissed him.
For a moment he was too astonished to do anything except kiss her back. His brain seemed to be cloaked in a red haze of lust. He drank in her scent, that mixture of Salt Box and the Blarney Stone, sweet willows and malty beer, that added to the aroma of pine sap and ancient wood smoke that seemed to linger around his cabin.
He pulled back slightly, staring into those great brown eyes, the color of cinnamon coffee now. Then he bent his head, running his lips in a line along her throat, to the joining of neck and shoulder.
Running On Empty
by Meg Benjamin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Ronnie Ventura has every reason to distrust Fairstein Productions: she’s had run-ins with their shows before. But Fairstein’s newest reality show offers Ronnie a chance to redeem herself from looking like a blonde bimbo. All she has to do is win a modified triathlon. Simple, right? Except this is Fairstein, and nothing is ever simple with them.
Ronnie’s boss at the Blarney Stone bar and café, owner Ted Saltzman, is a lot less convinced that another Fairstein show is just what Ronnie needs, particularly when he’s head over heels about Ronnie himself. But she’s determined, and he’s a man in love.
Ted becomes her running coach, which fans their budding romance to a fever. But can Ronnie’s newfound confidence stand up to the usual Fairstein plots? And can Ted find a way to keep his true love in Salt Box if Hollywood tries to steal her away again?
5* **** Equal parts lovely and steamy novel
**I read this with my KU subscription**
I should rate this book as five stars only for having me read about something I totally despise and never watch – reality shows. I couldn’t put it down! LOL
But it deserves the rating for so much more than that. I skydived into this trilogy right at its closing act; but since this is a standalone, I was able to enjoy it thoroughly. Plus, I’ve got to add two more titles to my endless TBR list. I’m so curious to read more about Lizzy, Monica, Nona, Dick, Paul and Clark. They seem such a fun loving crowd you can’t help but want to hang out with them, you know? Also, I’m sure I’ll be able to appreciate more Ronnie’s growth as a character. Don’t get me wrong, Meg does an excellent job at showing us how much Ronnie’s changed since the beginning of the series; it’s just that Meg’s equally talented in making you curious. Hehehe
I was hooked since page one. I mean, the Blarney Stone is literally one of my inspirations to write my second novel: Luck of the Irish. When I visited Dublin, I fell in love with its story so a bar named Blarney Stone sounded like my kind of place. Then, we get to meet its drool-worthy owner, Ted Saltzman, and things just get better from there. Granted, there were times I could’ve smacked him on the head; but, that’s what a good romance novel does to you: make you forget you can’t physically hit its characters. No matter how flustered they make you.
Meg Benjamin’s writing style is so elegant that she turns boring reality shows into engaging topics. And on a very personal note, I favor third person POV such as Meg employs here, alternating it from Ronnie’s and Ted’s perspective. It gives us a broader understanding of the main characters’ motivations and inner struggles. As well as making us want to coldcock them, but I’ve already covered that. LOL
She also made me feel quite comfortable at Blarney Stone; where everyone hangs out quite often. I loved its easygoing atmosphere and the characters’ interactions. It reminded me of the first seasons of True Blood, before the show turned boring. I kind of expected to see Sam, Sookie or Laffayette making a cameo at any time. I mean this as a compliment because I did love the show and Charlene Harris’s books were quite fun to read as well.
As an author of erotic romances, I feel very comfortable reading steamy scenes and Meg’s talent also shines through in this department. There aren’t that many love scenes; but their quality, intensity, and importance in making the plot advance are unquestionable. Kudos!
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$20 Amazon/BN GC
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family Trilogy is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Her Salt Box trilogy takes place in her new home the Colorado Rockies. She’s also the author of Going Up In Flames, part of the Sapphire Falls Kindle World series. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers. Meg’s Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com.
You can follow her on:
Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at email@example.com.
To purchase Meg’s books, you can visit her author page at Samhain,
Meg’s books are also available through iBooks and other venues.
Venus In Blue Jeans ISBN 9781605043692
Wedding Bell Blues ISBN 9781605046303
Be My Baby ISBN 9781605048437
Long Time Gone ISBN 9781609281083
Brand New Me ISBN 9781609283070
Don’t Forget Me ISBN 9781609288259
Fearless Love ISBN 9781619212404
Hungry Heart ISBN 9781619222274
Salt Box Trilogy
Finding Mr. Right Now ISBN 9781619229570
Love in the Morning ISBN 9781619230729
Promise Harbor Wedding
Bolted ISBN 9781619214293
Ramos Family Trilogy
Medium Well ISBN 9781101599648
Medium Rare ISBN 9781101622575
Happy Medium ISBN 9781101622568
Sapphire Falls Kindle World
Going Up In Flames ASIN B01FV7OAYI