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Monday, July 8, 2013

Guest Post with Author Shannyn Schroeder and Giveaway

Please welcome to RFTC author Shannyn Schroeder who is celebrating the release of her newest book, A Good Time.

Shannyn Schroeder is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she'd never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you're going to read so many damn books, why don't you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to professional author. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending because real life can be depressing. She writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.

In her spare time, she loves to bake cookies and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Places to find Shannyn:
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you so much for hosting me today.

It wasn't until I was getting ready to draft the third book in the O'Leary series that I learned about collaging for inspiration. I'd seen collages before (Jennifer Crusie is AMAZING at collages), but they always looked like they were too much work. Once I let go of that notion and gave it a shot, collaging became fun.

Not only did I create collages for that book, but I went back and created collages for A Good Time. I was struggling with A Good Time because I just didn't know the characters well enough. Searching for the right inspiration works wonders. I had already created a collage for the entire O'Leary family, since I plan to write about each of them, but when it came to Indy and Griffin, I had some flexibility because neither of them are really O'Learys.

I imagine Bradley Cooper as Griffin. Bradley Cooper is one of those guys who looks good wearing jeans and a T-shirt or a suit and that's what I needed for Griffin. He's a guy who struggled growing up, but he's wealthy now. He's also perfect because he's got a panty-melting smile.

Indy was easy to cast. Kate Hudson is perfect for Indy. If you look at many of Kate Hudson's movies, she plays characters just like Indy: a girl who lives for the moment, who wants to have a good time, and is pretty gobsmacked when she falls in love. Plus, Kate Hudson has been pregnant, so I was able to use one of those photos in the collage. Although the blurb doesn't say it, it's not a secret that Indy is pregnant in the book.

I love having this kind of inspiration when I write. I create the collages and a soundtrack before I put one word on the page. Then, when I'm ready to write, I listen to the music and have the collages posted on the bulletin board above my desk. I surround myself with my inspiration.

The inspiration for the book itself was really based on Indy. As writers, we're told to torture our characters. We should think about the worst possible thing that could happen to our characters and then make that happen. For Indy, who prizes her freedom above all else, making her pregnant was torture. For the first time in her life, she has to make serious choices and grow up.

As a reader, do you like knowing how the author sees characters, or do you prefer to leave it to your own imagination?

A passionate free spirit and a sweet-talking playboy sound like a match made in heaven—until life gets in the way of all the fun and games…

Indy Adams values her freedom above all else. She works hard to support herself, moonlighting as a waitress while she fights for her first big sale in the Chicago real estate market. The last thing she needs is to be tied down, so she doesn't think twice about declining her philandering boyfriend's marriage proposal. Besides, she just landed a new client, a wealthy lothario—exactly the kind of guy who would understand her no-strings approach.

Handsome, rich, and charitable, most women jump at the chance to even talk to video game developer Griffin Walker, let alone date him. So he can't understand why Indy wants nothing more than a few steamy nights together. Despite his romantic track record, Griffin longs for real love—complete with a home and family—and he wants it with Indy. But a blessing in disguise may lead them both to a life they never expected, and give Griffin a chance to show Indy that it's okay to want more than a good time…

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes |

“Why are you here?” she asked again.

“I rolled over in bed, expecting to find a warm naked body and found nothing. When you didn't pop out of the bathroom, I went to look for you and found this.” He tossed her crumpled note on the kitchen table.

She shook her head to clear it. “You're pissed because I borrowed a sweatshirt?” How petty was this guy? She stripped it off and threw it at him. He dropped it on the chair.

Indy moved to push past him, but he caught her arm.

“I'm pissed because you snuck out of my house. You just left.”

She yanked her arm back. “I didn't see the point in waking you. What do you want, a big, fat thank you?”

He deserved at least that much. It had been some of the best damn sex she'd ever had. Not that she would admit it right now.

“I want to know why you left.”

She didn't know how to answer. I don't belong in your world? He wouldn't buy it, even though it rang true. She took a deep breath, stared at the floor, and lied. “I can't sleep in a strange place.”

She'd felt too comfortable in his bed and knew it was a bad thing. Sex was sex, but sleeping together changed things.

His voice softened. “You fell asleep before I did.”

She shrugged, hoping he wouldn't try to bust her on her lie. He moved closer and ran a hand over her hair. She wanted nothing more than to snuggle her face into his hand, but held back.

“Fine. I thought you might want these back.” From his pocket he produced her panties.

She looked at her panties dangling from his finger. The tense moment passed and she smiled. “No bra?”

His eyes wandered to her chest and her hard nipples. “I didn't know you left it.”

“I couldn't find my panties or bra.”

“I'll look for it.” He took a step closer and she backed into the wall. “Next time, I won't let you off so easy.”

She tilted her chin up, her heart already racing. “Who says there will be a next time?”

“You,” he whispered against her lips and kissed her.

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs For Entire Tour:
  • 1 lucky winner will win a $10 Gift Card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble)

To Enter: 
  • Please answer the question: As a reader, do you like knowing how the author sees characters, or do you prefer to leave it to your own imagination?
  • Please leave your email address along with your comment to be entered. 
  • Giveaway ends July 29th.

Good Luck! 


  1. I tend to just use my imagination. I don't rely on the covers either, but I can see how helpful it would be for a writer to have a particular image in mind.


  2. I go with my own imagination. If I'm having a hard time visualizing them, I will take a look at the cover a few times if they're on there. After I read the book, if I really liked it, I like to read up on all the details then. I like you're thinking! I would love to see Bradley Cooper in everything I read. :) lcminer at windstream dot net

  3. I like knowing how the author sees the characters, then you are truly getting the full picture as it was intended. Of course it is fun to imagine them as you wish too but knowing their mental image can help you jump into the story quicker

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  4. I like to use my own imagination, I think it is more fun that way.


  5. I like seeing how author sees the characters... It's more detailed...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I like having a general body description but a detail on face is a waste for me cuz I never really have a face more like an impressionist painting in my mind.
    Thanks for the post and the giveaway.

  8. Wow - You guys are early risers. I thought I was on my game getting here at 9. Thanks for hosting me today.

  9. I like to use my own imagination, I think it is more fun that way.

  10. I like to know how the author sees the characters so that I can read the story as it is intended. At the same time, though, my imagination tends to get away with me while I am reading a book.

    Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! Amazon is my favorite place to shop for books, so fingers crossed for the gift card. :-)

    Best Wishes,
    Lindsey V.

  11. You know, I've never really heard of collaging. Sounds like an intriguing idea for helping along the writing process!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Andra Lyn- I did a post on my blog about collaging and I show a picture of my board if you're interested:

  12. I like a description and then take it from there. I heard you read at Lady Jane's Salon. You did an excellent job!

    1. Thanks so much, Mary Jo. That was my first reading ever, so it means a lot that you think I did well.

  13. I don't prefer one way or the other, if there is a person on the cover of the book, then I usually use that image in my head. If not, then I let my imagination chose.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I prefer my own imagination! What I consider hot may not be what the author thinks - it's all subjective!

    leannessf at gmail dot com

  15. I like an author giving a description. I like to try and picture what they might see. Also the saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is true. That means irregardless of their description, whatever I think is handsome or hot is what I'll see.

    I do a double take however if the hero or heroine on the front cover or insert have mismatching features from the description. Even more so when the book is published by a traditional printing house. My thoughts are something like, "The author couldn't tell the graphics department they got her hero/heroine's hair color/eye color/chest size/height wrong? Really?!"

    1. I forgot to include my e-mail address! kaur_chanpreet(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. I like to look at the author's visualizations of her characters. I might be more inclined to 'see' my own character examples if I had more imagination. That's why they are the authors and I am the reader!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  17. A little bit of both :) I like a general description, but I don't need super detailed i.e. the author comparing the character to a real actor/person... As I read and I get the character in my head, he/she develops more to my impressions. Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. I love to use my imagination at first. Then I don't mind knowing what the author sees to see if I was anywhere close to the author's vision.

    evamillien at gmail dot com

  19. I prefer my own imagination!

  20. I like it when the book cover has a great picture of what the character or characters should look like. I usually will go by that or my imagination based on the author's description.

  21. I like to not know until after I have finished the book.

  22. I don't know really. Now that I think of it I think I'd like to let my imagination go with the info in the book.
    I liked that excerpt.
    Lorimeehan 1 at aol dot com

  23. Hello Shannyn, so nice to "meet" you again on this blog. Since I realize that there are "different strokes for different folks," I tend to like to draw my own conclusions about the characters in a book. My likes and dislikes won't be the same as some other reader's likes and dislikes about the characters. The way the story is strung together matters a lot and I usually comment on that in a review, rather than whether I liked a character or not. If a story is written in a way that rivets me to the story, then I deem it good.

  24. Holy snap!!! Indy's pregnant? Wow...

    I LOVE seeing how the author views her characters... It helps me out a lot.

    1. "Holy snap!!" *snort* thanks for the laugh -- love that response

  25. Hmm...I like it left to my imagination.
    Thanks :-)

    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

  26. I like seeing how the author sees the characters.

    JessieL62 AT comcast DOT net

  27. I like know how the author envisions the character, but it is fun to add a little of my own thoughts about the characters...

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I like to know how the author envisions the character.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  30. I like to read how the author sees his/her characters since it is interesting to get their perspective.

    1. I forgot the email - mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  31. A general description is good and helps me, but when the author shows me a picture of an actor or model, it kind of ruins it a bit for me, because I like to use my imagination.


  32. I usually go with my imagination, although I do like when they are described.