Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Party Interview and Giveaway with author Penny Watson

"PENNY WATSON is a native Pittsburgher whose love of romance started at the age of twelve when she discovered Gone With The Wind in the middle school library. This resulted in numerous attempts at a first novel about a young lady with windswept hair who lived in a treehouse. A biologist by training, Penny has worked at various times as a dolphin trainer, science teacher, florist, and turfgrass researcher (don't ask). Through it all she was a compulsive reader and collector of romance novels. After taking time off to raise her two spirited children, she decided to rekindle her passion for storytelling with the support of a wonderful writer's group, The Quirky Ladies. Now she gets to incorporate her wide array of interests, including gardening, cooking and travel into her light paranormal stories. Penny lives outside of Boston with one fly-fishing crazed husband, two lively Filipino kids, and a wiener dog."Source

Find Penny Watson on the Web: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Penny's Latest Release:
'Sweet Inspiration'
(available now in ebook format)
"What if the legend of Santa Claus is in fact, true?  What if Santa has five big strapping sons who help him run his empire?  Five single, sexy sons looking for romance...
Nicholas Klaus is a master pastry chef, a strict disciplinarian, and the eldest son of the legendary Santa Claus. One look at café owner Lucy Brewster sends him into an unexpected tailspin of lusty desires. When Lucy is injured, Nicholas makes a decision that catapults both of their lives into turmoil ....
Lucy Brewster, the free-spirited proprietor of Sweet Inspiration, has a flair for concocting sugary confections but no time for adventure.  She gets more than she bargained for when she awakens in the North Pole...rambunctious elves, a fitness-obsessed Santa, and the man of her dreams.  Does she have what it takes to become the next Mrs. Klaus?"
[Read an excerpt: here]
Get Your Copy Today:
RJ: Hey Penny! Thanks so much for stopping by for a little chat and participating in the blog's first Christmas party! Firstly, congratulations on your latest book, 'Sweet Inspiration', available for purchase in ebook format! And of course: Happy Holidays to you and yours!
PW: Rita, thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog. Merry Christmas!
RJ: What did you experienced emotionally as well as professionally with the completion and publication of 'Sweet Inspiration'?
PW: It was a rollercoaster, for sure! Sweet Inspiration was my first completed novel. I pitched it to an agent at a writer's conference, and I was shot down in a blaze of glory! (She informed me that my book was basically "unpublishable" because of its short length and the holiday topic). I was crushed, but determined to find a home for it. I soon discovered that a lot of smaller e-publishers were looking for shorter, holiday-themed romances. I was lucky enough to find a home for Sweet Inspiration at The Wild Rose Press. Happy Days!
RJ: Why don't you tell me and the readers a little bit about 'Sweet Inspiration' from the author's point of view?
PW: Well, I obviously love Christmas. I also love romance novels. I decided that a sexy Santa story might be something fun for the holidays. As I brainstormed this idea, Santa's family began to expand, and soon I had created a world with elves, magic, and five sexy sons of Santa Claus. It's a grown-up twist on the legend of Santa and the North Pole.
RJ:Where did the inspirations for your plot, characters and setting come from?
PW: One source of inspiration was the animated film Santa Claus is Comin' To Town. Even as a young girl I was enchanted by the love story between Kris Kringle and Jessica. I especially love the wedding scene where Kris and Jessica are married outside in an evergreen forest with the birds and animals looking on. So romantic!
RJ:What challenges or difficulties did you face during the writing process for this book?
PW: Since I was a new writer, I had a lot to learn. My critique group, The Quirky Ladies, was a huge source of support and encouragement. I basically got on-the-job training as a writer. Also, it's tough to write about Christmas all year long, especially in the summertime when it's 90° and muggy outside!
RJ: Lets talk about your Hero and Heroine (Nick & Lucy). What are their flaws and what are their redeeming qualities? Also, why are they attracted to each other (aside from physical attraction)?
PW: At the beginning of the book, Nicholas is a very rigid and inflexible pastry chef, totally absorbed with his work. He pays little attention to his workers. He is very loyal to his family, especially his four younger brothers.
Lucy is more relaxed in the kitchen, and is quite involved in her worker's lives. She is fearful about breaking out of her small town world, and longs for adventure and passion.
When Nicholas and Lucy first meet, there is an instant physical attraction between the two of them. Their mutual love of cooking brings them together, in spite of their different culinary approaches. Lucy is impressed with Nicholas' worldwide travels and expertise, and Nicholas is touched by her thoughtfulness towards her employees and customers.  She teaches Nicholas to be more thoughtful of others, and Nicholas gives Lucy the courage to take risks in her life.
RJ: This latest book is from the Klaus Brothers series. What is the premise for this series/where did the idea for it come from? And also, how does Sweet Inspiration tie into/contribute to the series?
PW: Sweet Inspiration is the first book of the Klaus Brothers Series. Each book in the series will focus on one of the brothers. The over-riding arc for the series is the question...Who will be the next Santa? Their father is getting ready to retire, and one of the sons is supposed to step up and fill the role of Santa Claus. We'll find out who the next Santa is in the final book of the series, Sweet Destiny.
RJ: How did your writing journey begin and how did you get here?  Tell me and the readers a bit about your road to publication.
PW: I always loved to write stories. Even as a young girl, I was making up stories with illustrations. After years of working in education and science, I adopted my son from the Philippines. I started reading romance novels for fun, and became enamored with the idea of writing my own book. My first attempt was a werewolf romance, which has yet to be completed! My second attempt was Sweet Inspiration. I was lucky enough to get it contracted within 6 months of sending out query letters. It was incredibly exciting for me!
RJ: Romances has transcended many different sectors of pop culture. I think the Beatles said it best, "All you need is love". This being a Romance Blog, I've got to ask: what are your favorite picks from the following:  Favorite Love Song? Favorite Scent on a man? Favorite Romantic Comedy? and of course, Favorite Romance Novel?
Favorite Love Song: I don't think I have one, but I do love the song Love's Divine by Seal. It's a lovely song.
Favorite Scent: No cologne, just his natural scent is yummy!
Favorite Romantic Comedy: Strictly Ballroom, such a great romantic film!
Favorite Romance Novel: Lord Of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase--this book is as close to perfection as you can get!
RJ: What's coming up next for you (book-wise or otherwise)?
PW: Sweet Magik, Oskar's story, will be out next Christmas (2011). I'm currently working on Sweet Adventure, #3 in the series.
RJ: Do you have anything that you would like to address to your fans and the readers?
PW: The greatest thing in the world is to hear from happy readers! I love getting emails, messages on twitter and goodreads, and comments on my blog. Please stop by and say hi!
(see on the web links)
RJ: Final Question: What is the most shocking or most interesting thing you've ever done? Or if you can't think of anything specific, name something daring that you've always wanted to try.
PW: A lot of people are surprised to hear that I used to be a dolphin trainer! It was really cool. I worked with a team of volunteers at the Pittsburgh Aquazoo when I was in high school. We trained an Amazon River dolphin named Chuckles! I don't think I'll ever top that job!

Penny's Question:What is your favorite Christmas film?
RJ: I can't wait to devour 'Sweet Inspiration' in the next few days! Sounds like a sweet holiday read! Thanks for a fabulous blog visit, Penny!

~*~Giveaway Details~*~
Penny Watson has generously offered to give away a digital copy of her holiday romance, 'Sweet Inspiration' to one (1) lucky commenter. The giveaway will end on December 23rd, and the winner will be announced on Christmas Eve (yes, I am a hopeless romantic as well! lol). Please follow the guidelines and leave a valid email address to be in the drawing.

Giveaway Guidelines: To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is comment! Answer Penny's Question and leave your email address in your comment and you'll be added to the drawing!

Extra Entries: Do one or more of the following to recieve extra entries for the drawing:
+3 'Friend' Penny on Facebook
+2 'Like' Not Another Romance Blog on Facebook
+5 Follow Penny's Blog
+5 Follow this Blog
+5 Spread the word: Tweet on Twitter, Post a Facebook status, or blog about this interview and giveaway (provide a link in you entry comment)

[+1 Sing a christmas carol to yourself right now and tell me which one you did ;)]

-Tell me in your comment which extra entries you are entitled to or they won't count!
Hope you enjoyed this interview and goodluck to all the giveaway participants! Happy Holidays, all!


  1. Hello Penny - I do follow you around! Getting the new release as soon as I can! You are so lucky - I wish I was a dolphin trainer! I'd love to kiss a dolphin!

  2. Hi Julia! You are the best stalker! Actually, Chuckles was a tough customer...some days he was nice, but some days he was naughty (biting, pushing us around in the water)....I think he might have been on Santa's naughty list. hee hee!

  3. The two Holiday movies that I watch over and over again are Home For The Holidays and Christmas Vacation. I will never get tired of them! I love the idea for Sweet Inspiration! Completely original.

    +3 Friended Penny
    +2 already like NARB on FB
    +5 follow Penny's Blog
    +5 already follow NARB blog
    +1 sang Deck The Halls with Santa's Hotties ;)


  4. Hi Cindy! Christmas Vacation is a good one...I love Chevy Chase! Hope you have happy holidays!

  5. Hi Penny, great interview. No need to enter me in giveaway... I read "Sweet Inspiration" (twice!) and LOVED it! :)

    Just wanted to stop by and say hi!

    P.S. Strictly Ballroom is one of my favorite movies too!


  6. Without a doubt A Christmas Story is my all time favorite. It just isn't Christmas unless I've watched it at least twice. I cannot count how many times I've seen that movie but I love it! Thanks for the chance to win your book.

    +2 NARB on facebook
    +5 Blog follower
    +1 Singing along to Christmas song on my ipod right now. Love this time of the year!

  7. Hi Penny,

    I just love the idea of the Klaus Brothers and I promised Nick & Lucy not to tell that I got the brownie receipe from them.

    For Extra points:
    +3 'I'm already Penny's friend on Facebook
    +2 I Liked Not Another Romance Blog on Facebook
    +5 I already Follow Penny's Blog
    +5 I tweeted with a link to this post
    +1 I sang Jingle Bells to myself and the dog.

  8. I have 5 movies that top my list of faves
    1.White Christmas
    2. Joyeux Noel
    3. It's a Wonderful Life
    4. Miracle on 34th street (both versions)
    5. The Muppet Christmas Carol

  9. My favorite Christmas movie is Love Actually. Not really a traditional Christmas movie, but it's so sweet and funny!

    I liked NARB on FB
    I sang Let it Snow

    abbiemichaels at yahoo dot com

  10. Hi Penny! Sorry I'm late to the party - busy reading Sweet Inspiration! I'm near the end, and my Nook ran out of juice! So frustrating - but I get to read it one more night this way, lol!

    Can't wait for the next book about those Klaus brothers!

    Happy holidays!

  11. Hi Barbara...thanks for stopping by!

    Danielle-I agree about A Christmas Story. That is a great, classic xmas film!

    Hi Donna! Nick and Lucy wish they had that recipe! It's delicious!

    Hi Heather....good movie list. You gotta add Elf onto it. It's hilarious!

    Hi Abbie--I'll have to check out Love Actually. I've haven't seen that one yet. Thanks for the recommendation.

    KatieO--so glad you are reading my book right now! That is awesome!

  12. Count me as your newest stalker!

  13. Stalk me, baby. :)
    Can't wait to read your holiday story coming out this weekend!



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