Today I would like to welcome to RFTC author Meg Benjamin. Meg is celebrating the release of her book Fearless Love and has stopped by to chat. Please give Meg a warm welcome.
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, won the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and was nominated for Book Of the Year at Long and Short Reviews. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway).
Places to find Meg:
Music and Me
I love Americana music, but I can’t listen to it while I work because I can’t concentrate if I do. But somehow, maybe as compensation, music always makes its way into my books. Each of my Konigsburg books has a theme song. I didn’t plan it this way, believe me, it just happened. The songs just crept in when I wasn’t looking, and now I can’t read those books without remembering the songs.
For Venus In Blue Jeans the song was “Midnight On the Water,” a lovely old waltz that summed up the essence of Cal Toleffson’s affection for Konigsburg, Texas. For Wedding Bell Blues, it was James McMurtry’s sultry rocker “Red Dress.” Watching Janie Dupree dance to that song was the moment Pete Toleffson decided they needed to be more than just friends. For Be My Baby, it was the title song, which can be both love song and lullaby and sums up the love story between two struggling single parents. For Long Time Gone, it was “Jolie Blonde,” that mainstay of Cajun and Tejano musicians that plays at the end when everyone is finally together.
For Brand New Me, the theme song is “Volver, Volver, “ which plays for the first dance between the hero and heroine, Tom and Deirdre. For Don’t Forget Me, the theme song is “You Don’t Know Me,” the wonderful Ray Charles song that my reunited lovers dance to.
And now comes Fearless Love, my most musical book yet, available now from Samhain. My heroine, MG Carmody, is a singer, bruised from her encounter with Nashville, who comes back to the Texas Hill Country to nurse her dying grandfather. MG doesn’t think she’s interested in singing again—she was hurt too badly by her rejection in Music City. But music is everywhere in the Hill Country since almost every little town has a honky tonk or two, and she’s soon back on stage.
Making my heroine a singer gave me a chance to bring in lots of my favorite songs, which just by chance turn out to be MG’s favorites too. She sings everything from “500 Miles” to “Bring It On Home To Me,” and that gave me a great excuse to spend a lot of time with my iPod. So what’s the theme song here? “Fearless Love,” of course. I’m partial to the Bonnie Raitt version, but there are others.
I don’t think I could have done any of my Konigsburg books without music—it’s an integral part of the Texas Hill Country and it helps me figure out the way my characters feel. And it makes me happy to think about music as I write. So what about you? Do your favorite books have theme songs?
MG Carmody never figured her musical dreams would crash against the reality of Nashville. Now the only thing she has going for her is her late grandfather’s chicken farm, which comes with molting hens that won’t lay, one irascible rooster, and a huge mortgage held by a ruthless opponent—her Great Aunt Nedda.
With fewer eggs to sell, MG needs extra money, fast. Even if it means carving out time for a job as a prep cook at The Rose—and resisting her attraction to its sexy head chef.
Joe LeBlanc has problems of his own. He’s got a kitchen full of temperamental cooks—one of whom is a sneak thief—a demanding cooking competition to prepare for, and an attraction to MG that could easily boil over into something tasty. If he could figure out the cause of the shy beauty’s lack of self-confidence.
In Joe’s arms, MG’s heart begins to find its voice. But between kitchen thieves, performance anxiety, saucy saboteurs, greedy relatives, and one very pissed-off rooster, the chances of them ever making sweet music are looking slimmer by the day.
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For a moment, she looked like a sulky seven-year-old, her face scrunched into a scowl. “You can’t laugh.”
“I’ll do my best. What are you—Mariah Grimsby or something?”
“Mary Grace,” she said flatly. “Mary Grace Carmody.”
He blinked. “And you’re upset about that?”
“Well, to begin with it sounds like the name of a sixty-year-old nun.” She sighed. “Probably from County Clare.”
“Trust me, honey, nobody’s going to mistake you for a sixty-year-old nun. Although the County Clare part could fit.” He ran his fingers along her cheek, tracing the high bone. “What else you got?”
She blew out a breath. “The problem is the Grace part. My mom’s the most practical person I know, and a harder worker you’ll never find. But why the hell she saw fit to stick me with Grace, I’ll never understand.”
He let his fingertips trail down the side of her throat. “What’s wrong with Grace? I like it.”
“It’s everything I’m not. Calm. Steadfast. Slow to anger. You name a virtue I lack and it’ll be one Grace should have. Including being able to move around without tripping over my own feet. It’s like naming your kid Chastity or Excellence or something.” She turned her head slightly, brushing her lips against his palm. “And no, I’m not fishing for compliments and I don’t need to be reassured about my general wonderfulness. It’s just that the good things about me aren’t things a Grace would have.”
“Don’t tell me I can’t reassure you about your wonderfulness if I want to,” he murmured, sliding his lips along the line his fingers had followed. “Besides there’s all kinds of grace in this world, darlin’.”
“Such as?” Her voice sounded a little breathless. A very good sign.
“Well, I figure you’re thinking about something like a ballet dancer—you know, professional grace. Or some model, assuming she doesn’t fall ass over teakettle with those skyscraper heels they wear.” He nuzzled the soft spot beneath her ear.
“Something like that.” Definitely breathless now.
“Well, that’s one kind of grace, but when I watch you dodge around the kitchen with a hotel pan full of chopped onions, making sure you don’t run into Leo’s ass, that’s grace too.”
She gave him a slightly sour look. “It’s more self-preservation. Running into Leo’s ass involves the possibility of hot grease.”
“Granted. But there’s nothing wrong with self-preservation, far as I can see. Hell, darlin’ there are times when just looking at you in that kitchen can make a difference in my day. Like sanity in the midst of kitchen chaos. That’s grace. Believe me, that’s real grace.”
She lay very still beneath his fingers. “Gosh,” she whispered.
He turned to look down at her, meeting that dark green gaze. “And what I saw on stage at Oltdorf tonight, that’s another kind of grace. Grace in abundance that was.”
For a moment, she stared up at him. And then she cupped his face in her hands, pulling his mouth down to hers almost urgently. Her tongue danced along his quickly, and he plunged deeper, grasping her shoulders to hold her still.
Check out the Konigsburg series:
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Want to win some goodies from Meg? Check out whats up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 1 lucky winner from the ENTIRE tour will win a $10 Gift Card
- Leave a comment answering Meg's question: Do your favorite books have theme songs?
- Please leave your email address along with your comment to be entered.
- Giveaway ends today so get those comments in.
Good Luck =)