Friday, August 13, 2010

Coffee Shop Conversations: Q&A and a Giveaway with Author Lila DiPasqua

Hello all you fabulous Dames, and welcome to Coffee Shop Conversations!
On this segment of the blog I will be conducting interviews with Authors, Bloggers and anyone else relative to the literary world and willing to answer my questions. Coffee Shops are great places to just relax, let the hair down and talk about life, love and good books! So without further adieu, let's get to chatting with my special guest:

Author Lila DiPasqua

"At age fourteen, Lila’s best friend sneaked a romance novel out of her grandmother’s house. After devouring it, Lila was hooked on romance novels for life. Today she lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after. She loves history and enjoys traveling. She has been to four continents so far. Weaving in interesting historical facts she discovers during her travels, Lila writes stories about historical alpha-heroes and the heroines who make them lose their hearts."Source

Lila DiPasqua on the web: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Lila's Latest Release: 
'Awakened By A Kiss'
Released 8.3.10

Three classic fairytales—“Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood”—cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist…

"Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss—and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress—and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…
Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger…
Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants—and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King’s private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was—and more than man enough for her.."Source

-Read an excerpt for 'Awakened By A Kiss': here
-Read My Review of 'Awakened By A Kiss': here

RJ: Hey Lila! Thanks so much for stopping by for a little chat!
LD: It’s my pleasure!  Thanks for having me!   
-Firstly, congratulations on your debut book 'Awakened By A Kiss' (released August 3rd, 2010).
LD:Thanks so much! 
RJ: What have the past few months been like; with anticipating the release and the feedback you've received thus far? What have you experienced emotionally as well as professionally with the completion of this new book?
LD: The entire experience has been like a wonderful exhilarating ride!  I’ve learned so much about how a manuscript becomes a book.  And I’ve delighted in every step.  It was such a thrill when my editor told me she was going to keep the title I gave the manuscript (AWAKENED BY A KISS: FIERY TALES). That isn’t usually the case.  Most of the time an author’s title is changed.  Then there was the moment I got to see my cover for the first time.  I was so blown away.  It looks even lovelier in person. That raised gold lettering against the dark background is stunning!  
This has been a dream come true, and I’m so excited AWAKENED BY A KISS is finally out for readers to enjoy.  The feedback on the book has been the cream on this awesome cake.  :) 
RJ: Why don't you tell me and the readers a little bit about 'Awakened By A Kiss' from the author's point of view. What were you trying to achieve with this book, and do you feel like it's 'mission accomplished'?
LD: AWAKENED BY A KISS is the first in my Fiery Tales series. It’s a collection --- steamy retellings of three classic fairy tales.  It was inspired by Charles Perrault’s famous tales – Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.   
I took all the familiar elements of each tale and gave them my own twists, injecting them with doses of heat and romance.   
RJ: What challenges or difficulties did you face with the writing of this particular book?
LD: There are easy books and there are difficult books, ones you struggle over each chapter.  I’ve got to say, AWAKENED BY A KISS, just flowed and flowed.  As I was writing Sleeping Beau, the characters and plot of Little Red Writing jumped into my mind.  And as I wrote Little Red Writing, Bewitching in Boots came to me.  I wish they all came to me this easily! 
RJ: Where did the inspiration for the plot, characters and setting come from?

LD: It came from my love of the time period this book is set in!  I know a lot about it.  I’ve read voraciously and with great passion about it. I’d love to see more romances set in this time period.  It will surely appeal to anyone who loves Regency set historicals. 
RJ: Many authors of historicals choose to tell stories about English nobility with an English backdrop. In 'Awakened By A Kiss', the characters were from the French nobility and you choose seventeenth-century France as your backdrop. What is it about that specific period in history that appeals to you and what made you want to write about the French nobility as appose to the English?
Charles Perrault
LD: I picked this setting because I was writing about fairy tales.  We have seventeenth century French lawyer/writer Charles Perrault to thank for those fairy tales that are near and dear to our hearts.  He was the first to write down folklore and put morals to his stories---long before the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.  Perrault was the creator of The Tales of Mother Goose.  And since the fairy tales in AWAKENED BY A KISS are based on his famous tales, I set the book in his lifetime.  I just love how elegant and opulent it was.  There were lord and ladies and magnificent masquerade balls.  There were weekly salons where the aristocracy gathered with the literati, (dramatists, writers, poets and grammarians) to discuss and debate politics, religion and literature. And there was plenty of scandalous behavior.  I wanted to write something that would still feel familiar to historical romance readers, yet at the same time bring them something different and fresh.   
RJ: Let's talk about your Hero's and Heroine's (Catherine & Adrien, Nicolas & Anne, and Tristan & Elisabeth). What are their flaws and what are their redeeming qualities? Also, what attracts them to each other?
LD: I think Catherine’s flaw at the beginning of the story is that she’s given up on having any kind of happiness.  She has a quiet strength about her but has stopped dreaming and wishing for things.  Adrien is privileged, treated as royalty, and has hardened his heart--- that is until he meets up with Catherine again.  Her problems with her father resonate with Adrien and remind him of his own troubles with his powerful sire. They are attracted to each other because they are similar and are able to open each other’s hearts. 
Nicolas is a pretty ambitious guy.  He’s is singularly focused on promotion in the King’s Guard.  Anne is singularly focused on writing her volumes.  I believe what attracts them (besides the physical attraction) is that they have the ability to bring out the best in each other. 
Tristan is strong.  A leader.  The former commander of the most prestigious corps in the realm.  Elisabeth is strong.  A leader.  The favorite daughter of the King.  These two develop a mutual respect for each other by the end.  They not only love each other, but they have a high regard for each other, too.
RJ: The writing process differs from author to author. Some are planners while others just jump right in. Some consider themselves night writers, while others need daylight and a park bench or a coffee shop (wink) to set the mood for creativity. What's your writing process and atmosphere like?
LD: I wish I could write in a coffee shop, but I can’t! I love coffee, but I’d be so distracted in a coffee shop.  I write when the kids are in school – with either classical music or new age music playing in the background.  I do most of my writing during the day.  Depending on the deadline, I might write late at night and on weekends, too.  As to whether I plot or just write and let my muse take me where it wants to go----I’d say I do a little of both!  I write a general outline before I start a book.  I’ll know the characters, and I’ll have some scenes drafted out.  Then I dive into the book.   
RJ: Romance has transcended so many different sectors of pop culture. I think the Beatles said it best, "All you need is Love". This being a Romance Blog and everything, I've got to ask: what are your favorite romance picks of the following: Favorite Love Song? Favorite Scent on a man? Favorite Romantic Comedy? and of course, Favorite Romance Novel?
LD: Favorite Love Song – I have so many favorites!  But there is one love song that totally melts me.  It’s soooo beautiful.  WHEN I’M WITH YOU, by Sheriff.  The lead singer is Freddie Curci.  His voice is *incredible* and I think he still has the record for holding that final note the longest in recording history.  I’ve no idea how he does it!  As an interesting tidbit, I’m sort of related to him (though I doubt he remembers me!)  Years ago, his sister married one of my cousins.  But I’m not in any way selecting this song for that reason!  I just absolutely love it.  Check it out on youtube.  Make sure you hear the version that plays his final note to the end. *swoon*  I had the privilege of meeting him in person at the wedding.  And yup, incase you’re wondering, he wrote a magnificent song for his sister’s wedding and sang it like an angel. *sighs*  
Favorite scent on a man -- Dolce & Gabbana , Light Blue. My husband wears it.  Yum! :) 
Favorite Romantic Comedy - Again, too many favorites to list, but I do have a new favorite to add to my long list – Leap Year.   Such a cute movie!
Favorite Romance Novel – No way could I ever select just one!  

RJ: What's coming up next for you (book-wise or otherwise)? And also, congrats on your full-length novel book deal!
LD: Thank you for the good wishes!  In November 2010, my next Fiery Tales collection will hit the shelves – THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED – with three more hot historical heroes who find their perfect match.  Inspired by The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling, and “The Princess and the Pea”,  I put my own sensual spin on these classic fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen.  They are retold and renamed, “The Marquis’ New Clothes”, “The Lovely Duckling” and “The Princess and the Diamonds”.
[Read an excerpt for 'The Princess In His Bed: here
RJ: Do you have anything you would like to address to your fans and the readers?
LD: Since I’m a debut author, readers don’t know what to expect from my books.
I’ve taken my love of fairy tales, history and passionate love stories, and blended them intoone steamy yet romantic anthology in AWAKENED BY A KISS. In my books, you can always expect to find a sinfully seductive rake, a strong smart heroine who will make him lose his heart and scorching-hot love scenes that will leave you breathless.   

Author’s website: 
RJ: Okay, Final Question: Name something shocking or interesting about yourself that the readers may not know.

LD: I was named after my paternal grandmother – Lila DiPasqua.  She was strong, independent, smart and fiercely devoted to her family. And she had a great laugh. I’m honored to share her name.   
As for my paternal grandfather, Nicola DiPasqua, he was a career soldier and had a soft spot for all his grandchildren. I have many wonderful memories of him – including him sitting in a small kiddie chair, sipping pretend tea with me and my dolls.  He was a true hero in every sense of the word.  And the best grandpa. I’m honored that we shared the same birthday, and for the first 17 years of my life, we celebrated our birthdays together and shared the same birthday cake, too.  Both my grandparents are gone now.  I wish they had lived to see all this.  I know they’d be very proud.   
 Lila's Question: Hey readers, what's your favorite fairytale movie and why?

-Thanks once again to my special guest, Lila DiPasqua, for stopping by and telling me a little bit about her life and her new book!

~*~Giveaway Details~*~
Lila DiPasqua has generously offered to giveaway (2) two signed copies of 'Awakened By A Kiss' to (2) two lucky commenters! Follow the guidelines below and comment for your chance to win 1 of  2 copies. The Giveaway will end on Friday, August 20th, 2010 at 11:59:00 PM. The winners will be announced and contacted via email on Saturday, August 21st, 2010.

Giveaway Guidelines: To be entered in the giveaway all you have to do is answer Lila's Question at the bottom of the Q&A section in your comment!
*Make sure to include your email address (NO EMAIL= INVALID ENTRY)

For Extra Entries (do one or more of the following for extra shots at winning):
+2 'Like' Lila's Facebook Fan Page and leave a nice message on her wall. (provide a link in your entry comment)
+2 'Like'  The 'Not Another Romance Blog' Blog on Facebook and/or tell me in your entry comment.
+3  Leave a comment on My Review of 'Awakened By A Kiss' and/or tell me in your entry comment
+4 Spread the word: Tweet on Twitter, Post a Facebook status, or blog about this interview and giveaway (provide a link in you entry comment)
+5 Become a Follower/ Be a Follower

(How-to for provide links to facebook and twitter status': here)

-Tell me in your comment which extra entries you are entitled to or they won't count!

*Restricted to U.S. and Canada residents only! No P.O. Boxes.
To all the readers, be sure to make use of those 'on the web' links above to better acquaint yourself with this fabulous author! This has been great! Good luck to all of the giveaway contestants and I hope all of you have enjoyed this edition of:  


  1. Fabulous interview Lila! What a cute picture you painted with your grandfather sipping tea with you! Made me miss my Irish granddaddy who used to play games too. He'd sing Irish songs to me and we'd go traipsing through the forest in his backyard trying to find the leprechauns... lol

    Okay favorite fairy tale movies... Did you ever watch Faerie Tale Theater with Shelley Duvall? ALL of those were my FAVS!!! But the ones I remember the most were Repunzel, The Princess and the Pea and The Frog Prince. I found the DVDs online a few years ago, and I've started sharing them with my little ones.

  2. Great interview, Lila! I truly cannot wait to read this book!!!

    +2 like Lila's FB page
    +2 like Not Another Romance Blog blog
    +3 posted comment on review
    +5 became a follower

  3. Great interveiew. I'm such a big music fan that I really find it interesting what some of my favorite authors our listening to while they work. I will have to up that song by Sheriff.
    I really can't wait to get a hold of your book. It looks amazing. Thanks for sharing with us today!

    ~Johanna Jochum

    +2 I follow Lila on FB
    +2 I follow Not Another Romance Blog Blog
    +3 I left a comment on your reveiw

    I'll leave a comment on my facebook status but not sure about leaving a link so cross it off it does not count! if it does +4

  4. Hi Eliza! - Your grandfather sounds wonderful! No, I've never watched Faerie Tale Theater. Sounds delightful! :)

    Hi Jena! - Thank you! I'm thrilled by your interest in my book. :)

    Hi Joanna - Thanks for stopping by and chatting! And thank you for spreading the word. :)

  5. Ugh! Sorry for the typo in your name, Johanna! Hugs!

  6. Ever After a Cinderella Story the one with Drew Barrymore. I love the cast set and twist!

    +2 like Lila's FB page
    +2 like Not Another Romance Blog blog
    +3 posted comment on review
    +4 spread the word twitter
    +5 became a follower
    (I tried twice before lets see if this works without the links)

    Thanks April

  7. I figured out how to leave a link on my status on Facebook so that makes +4 Yeah! And I forgot to tell you my favorite Fairy tale story. Its Cinderella, I love rags to riches. Its uplifting and has a happy ending. Can't get better than that. I also loved Ever After, great movie!

    ~Johanna J

  8. I really like Fairy tale stories and I think that the best one is Cinderalla, because she goes through alot. in the beginning she is torchered by the wicked step-sister then goes to the ball and falls in love with the prince. It just show that you can go from nothing to someone . I loved the movie Ever After awesome movie. Cant wait to read this one sounds awesome and it sounds like a book i wont be able to put down.

  9. I forgot to leave my email address...
    Tammy Morse

    Cant wait to read it

  10. Hi April -- My favorite, too! :)

    Hi Johanna -- No problem! Thanks for your efforts and for sharing! :)

    Aww, thank you, Tammy! Great fairy tale movie choice. :)

  11. While I've seen Sleeping Beauty many, many times as a child and it remains one of my faves, I remember a tale called "The Princess and the Pea" that I loved just as much. Thanks!

    +2 "Liked" blog on FB
    +3 commented on review post
    +5 I am a follower
    +4 Tweeted:

    jenma76 at hotmail dot com

  12. Hi Lila, lovely interview. Love the fact that you have chosen a french aristocratic backdrop!

  13. @ jenma76 -- OOO! I'm so glad you like The Princess and the Pea! I've done my own version in my upcoming November release, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED, called The Princess and the Diamonds.

    Here is the blurb to it-- The Princess and the Diamonds: Princess Gabrielle can’t sleep at night. There is something hard in her bed. No, not just the stolen diamonds tucked under her mattress, but the handsome Marquis on it….whose carnal talents she can’t resist. But he threatens her secret mission, and worse, she stands to lose far more than the diamonds---her heart is at stake….

    @ Susan -- Thanks so much! It was a fun book to write and a setting so strikingly similar in so many ways to Regency England. :)

  14. My favorite fairy tale movie is definetely Sleeping Beauty with Cinderella coming in at a close second. I cannot tell you have many times I have watch both of these movies throughout the years. I have seen almost every adaptation of both. I just love them. With Sleeping Beauty I just love that a prince falls so in love with her that he is willing to do anything, including fight a dragon to be with the one he loves. Aww swoon! I just love it!

    Thanks Lila for doing these blog contests for the past week. I can honestly say that I can't wait to read this book and the others that are yet to come out. I especially can't wait to read your take on Cinderella. Good luck with everything.

    +2 For liking Lila on FB
    +2 For liking The 'Not Another Romance Blog' Blog on FB
    +3 For review comment
    +5 For being a follower



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