Friends – things are super crazy in the Covington house as I prepare to head to San Diego in a couple of weeks for the Romance Writers of America conference and the glitzy gala for the RITA awards. In case you didn’t know, the RITA’s are like the Oscars – but for romance writing – and I’m still pinching myself that I got the call and that my book, ONE LITTLE KISS, was nominated in best novella category.
That calls for a celebration . . . right? I thought so too.
So, for the next two weeks I’m going to feature one of my fellow nominees and give away their nominated book. And one very lucky reader will win a $25 Amazon GC!
Today I’m featuring the amazing Merline Lovelace – author of the nominated novella, DESERT HEAT.
- Give us your “call” story. Where were you when you got the RITA call?
This is kind of embarrassing but I had forgotten that March was notification month and was at the gym the morning the calls went out. When I got home about noon I found several urgent messages on my phone. RWA didn’t want to release the list of nominees until everyone had been notified but I was so late getting back to them that the list had gone out and I was already getting congratulatory emails and calls. This is my twelfth nomination, but I have to say it’s still a HUGE thrill!
- Everyone has a gateway romance novel that turned them into a diehard fan – what was your book and when did you first read it?
Well… I’m dating myself here but my older sister and I discovered Georgette Heyer during the summer of 1967. Her husband was serving in VN, so she and her kids had moved back to Massachusetts to be close to home. She and I were both so hooked that we drove to every library in Western MA to track down Heyer books. Then we’d treat ourselves to pizza at our favorite Italian restaurant and read away. That summer remains one of my fondest memories, and I’m a diehard Regency/romance fan to this day.
- What book are you working on right now?
I just finished a 3-book series for Harlequin Special Edition and needed a change of pace. So I’m dusting off a medieval romance I started some years ago but put aside to work on other projects. It’s set during the early days of the reign of Richard the Lionhearted and has swept me back to that time of pageantry and tangled loyalties.
- Tell us about your nominated novella!
DESERT HEAT is part of the COURSE OF ACTION series I did with the fabulous Lindsay McKenna featuring Special Ops hero/heroines from all different services. The hero is an Air Force pararescueman on a joint training mission with the Royal Omani Air Force and the heroine is a mezzo-soprano performing at the opera house in Muscat when it’s attacked by terrorists.
The plot for this novella came to me in, like, thirty seconds when my husband and I visited the Royal Omani Opera House during an Indian Ocean cruise in 2014. It’s really, really gorgeous and has hosted such greats as Pavarotti, Yo Yo Ma, and the American Ballet Company. Actually, I loved everything about Muscat – the clean, graceful Arabic architecture, the incredible color and scents of the spice market, the friendly people – and knew I had to set a book there! What made writing this novella even more fun was that I got to incorporate so many of my experiences during that memorable time in the hot, searing deserts of Oman and Dubai.
I should also add that I worked with pararescuemen (PJs) several times during my air force career. These guys are tough, tough, tough. They make the SEALs look like mere wannabes <G>
Should folks so desire they can check my webpage at www.merlinelovelace.com or friend me on Facebook.
Do you want to win a copy of Merline’s awesome book? Hop on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on the post with her graphic. Here’s the link for my page.
And if you want to enter to win the $25 Amazon GC – use this rafflecopter . .