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15 July 2009

Donna Marie Rogers

It's my great pleasure to welcome Romance author Donna Marie Rogers to my blog to day, on the first day of her tour. Donna lives in a renovated old schoolhouse in beautiful Northeast Wisconsin with her husband and children. She's an avid gardener and home-canner, as well as an admitted reality TV junkie. Her passion to read is only exceeded by her passion to write, so when she's not doing the wife and mother thing, you can usually find her sitting at her computer creating exciting new characters, fresh new worlds, and always happily-ever-afters.

To whet your appetite, here's the 'blurb' her new release, 'Meant To Be' which will be released by The Wild Rose Press on 17th July.

She's running from her past, he's unsure about his future. Maybe tog
ether they can figure out what was MEANT TO BE. Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point in his life. He’s lost faith in his ability as a police officer after unwittingly setting his sister up with a dirty cop. Garrett ended up getting shot, and his sister's son kidnapped right out of his own bed. He takes a leave from the force, in need of some time to make a decision about his future. Too bad he can't get a decent night's sleep thanks to his sexy new neighbor and her howling cat.

Jessica McGovern moves halfway
across the country to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. Her new neighbor is as infuriating as he is handsome, but when her ex is released from prison early and shows up in town, Jessica discovers she's never needed anyone more...

Oh, that sounds very intriguing - and a howling cat? Hmm, lets find out a bit
more with an excerpt:

Standing there in nothing but a pair of black gym shorts, he was too hot for words. Damn him.

"So what can I do for you?" He leaned negligently against the doorframe, an almost pleasant smile curving his lips.

"I'm here to see Nick. Is he home?"

The smile disappeared. He straightened and crossed his arms over his chest, which made those huge biceps bulge even more. Jessica realized for the first time he had a tattoo. Huh. She wouldn't have thought him the type. Frankly, she thought tattoos were sexy, if they weren't garish, which his wasn't. It looked to be some sort of Chinese symbols.

Probably means `He-with-head-too-big-for-hat.'

"You're barking up the wrong tree there, honey. Nicky's married to his computer."

"Not that it's any of your business, but that's exactly why I'm here. I'm having trouble with my online service and was hoping he could help." Now why did she feel the urge to explain herself? Double damn him.

He looked her up and down in an insultingly blatant manner. "I know a thing or two about computers.

"No kidding? Great, next time I need help surfing the porno sites, you'll be the first one I call."

His eyes went cold. "You think I'm just some big, dumb Neanderthal, don't you?"

Jessica gave him the same insulting once over he'd given her. "If the leopard toga fits..."

"I happen to have a BS in Computer Science."

Hands on hips, jaw working furiously, he looked so offended Jessica was hard-pressed not to laugh. "I don't understand. You could be making a lot more money in computers than you are as a cop. And you w
ouldn't be putting your life in danger on a daily basis." She glanced meaningfully at the scarred flesh visible just above the waistband of his shorts.

"This didn't happen in the line of duty. Besides, I love being a cop."

He said it as if she should've instinctually known it. Jessica sighed. Garrett Jamison was turning out to be much deeper than she'd imagined. "It's a noble profession. It's also a very dangerous one."

"True enough. But it's not as if I have a family who's dependent on me."

She reached up to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "What about your uncle, or your sister and brothers? Or your nephew? I'm sure they'd all be devastated if something happened to you."

"What about you?"

His voice had taken on a deep, sexy timbre that turned Jessica's knees to mush. Garrett Jamison was entirely too gorgeous for his own good--or for hers. "What about me?"

Before she knew what he was about, he reached out and cupped the side of her face, tracing his thumb over her cheekbone. "Would you miss me if something happened?"

"What a thing to ask," she breathed, her gaze centered on his full lips. "I barely know you." Was he going to kiss her? Right there where any of the neighbors could see? Not that she'd mind...

"Uncle Garrett, the game's set up. Can we order pizza now?

Garrett snatched back his hand, and Jessica's gaze dropped to the little boy leaning possessively against his leg.

Was it her imagination, or was the little stinker glaring daggers at her?

"Hi, Ethan, my name is Jessica"

I know."

Nope, not her imagination. In fac
t, the scowl on his face was downright hostile. Now what in the world had she done to warrant such disfavor?

"Ethan, you watch your manners," Garrett growled.

"Yes, sir."

He cast her one last mutinous scowl, then turned and ran back into the house. Jessica had to resist the urge to laugh. She wouldn't take his behavior personally. The boy obviously adored his uncle and didn't care to share him. Another fascinating layer of Garrett Jamison--loving uncle.

"Sorry about that. Ethan's a good kid. I'm not sure what got into him."

"My guess would be old-fashioned jealousy. You two apparently have plans for t
he evening, and when he saw us...talking, his young mind assumed I was trying to lure you away."

A frown creased his f
orehead. "I don't know. Ethan knows I'd never abandon him. For anyone."

Ouch, point taken. She shrugged. "You know him better than I do. I'm just telling you what I saw. Well, this has been fun, but I need to get back. Mr. Louie doesn't like to watch TV alone."

Garrett chuckled. "Give His Highness a scratch behind the ears for me."

"What? Just this afternoon you suggested I have him euthanized

"Good Lord, woman, can't you take a joke?" Garrett winked at her, then stepped back and closed the door.

Jessica shook her head. The man was crazy, no doubt about it. He was also so handsome it should be a crime. Wit
h a sigh of frustration, she headed back home to watch Wheel of Fortune.

HL: That Garett sounds a real 'hottie'. Go on then, I'm sure everyone's dying to know a bit more about you. Tell us a little about yourself and your childhood.

DMR: Oh, good, I get to bore you right out of the gate...LOL I'm a wife and mother of two awesome daughters, 5 and 10. We moved up to Northeast Wisconsin about 15 years ago from the south suburbs of Chicago, where my husband and I both grew up. I suppose I had a typical childhood. I'm a child of the 70s and 80s, so I grew up with Atari, Kool-Aid, classic rock, and the Brady Bunch. :)

HL: The Brady Bunch eh? And what do you do for fun when you're not writing?

DMR: Besides reading and watching my kids play, I'm a gardener and home canner. I also love to watch TV, which isn't such a good thing. But I love reality shows, soap operas, sitcoms, House, Bones...LOL

HL:Sounds like you have plenty to keep you occupied, *grin*! so when did you start writing?

DMR: I first started writing back in the early nineties. After years of reading every romance novel I could get my hands on, I decided to take a stab at writing one of my own. And I quickly discovered that writing an entire story wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I have a stack of notebooks full of partially written stories. But then I sat down at my computer in early 2004 with a kernel of an idea, and eight months later I typed THE END of There's Only Been You. I started writing Meant To Be almost immediately after since I was so in love with Garrett by then...LOL

HL: Oh, yes. I know what it's like to fall for a character. What comes first then, the plot or the characters?

DMR: For me, the characters. All of my stories are character driven, which is important to me. Soap operas are plot driven, which can be super frustrating for longtime fans. Because I'm writing a series, I wouldn't want my readers to think, "Wait, he/she wouldn't do that!"

HL: Tell us about your latest release, and what you think readers will enjoy about it.

DME: There was never any doubt I'd write Garrett's story and make this a series. I fell in love with the big lug immediately. Garrett is a good guy, but he's a moody SOB...LOL

OFFICER GARRETT JAMISON is at the lowest point of his life. He believes a cop’s greatest asset is his instinct and feels he lost his the night he got shot and his precious nephew kidnapped right out of his own bed. So he takes a leave from the force while he considers whether he wants to remain a police officer, or start looking into another career. If only his infuriating—and gorgeous—neighbor would keep her pesky cat from howling outside his window at all hours of the night...

JESSICA MCGOVERN struggles back from the brink of depression after the death of her young son. She packs up her old pickup truck, her mammoth gray-and-white tabby, Mr Louie, and moves halfway across the country for a fresh start in Wisconsin where she’s rented her uncle’s house. As it turns out, Midwesterners are just as friendly as she’s always heard they were. Too bad her cran

ky new neighbor is the exception to the rule...

HL: Now, that does sound intriguing. Mr Louie sounds a 'cutie' too, LOL. OK then. If someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?

DMR: I think Sam Elliot would make a great Uncle Luke. Garrett's a 6' 5" dark-haired

hulk, so no one really comes to mind to play him. But there's anactor on the soap opera One Life To Live who I think would make a perfect Jack Sutton (Jack's story is in the works). His name is Mark Lawson:

HL: Mm, Mark Lawson! Good choice. I like Sam Elliot too!! Have you a favourite actor/hunk? Would this be the same guy you mentioned above?

DMR: I admit, I've quickly fallen in lust with Mark Lawson. But some of my favorite hunks are Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing With the Stars; actors Ryan Reynolds, David Boreanaz, Gerard Butler; and singer Joe Nichols (I don't even like country music, but that man is HOT! LOL)

HL: What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?

DMR: Promotion is hard work! LOL

HL: What’s your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

Sadly, I have no writing process at the moment. I hope that once my baby starts Kindergarten this fall, I'll finally be able to set aside a nice chunk of time during the day for writing...and exercising!

DMR: Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?

HL: I don't, really. I usually have the TV on...which can be a problem since I get sucked into a good program quite easily...LOL

HL: Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

DMR: I have an amazing group of writing
friends from my local chapter who help me stay positive and on track. My critique partner, Stacey Joy Netzel (also my co-author on Welcome To Redemtion), is amazingly supportive, as are my good friends Jamie & Dulcie. I've learned so many things from all of them, though nothing specific comes to mind. Sorry, I'm terrible under pressure...LOL

HL: What is your personal definition of success?

DMR: Happy, healthy children, a roof over our head, food on the table, a little money in the bank, family, friends...I can't think of anything else I need to be successful in life.

As far as writing, making the NY Times Bestseller list would be a dream come true. I could die a happy camper.

HL: What is your favourite source of inspiration?

DMR: There's just nothing better than reading a good book to recharge my creative battery. In fact, I've been charging my 'battery' for a couple weeks now...LOL

HL: Is there any advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had been given?

DMR: I spent a lot of time tweaking my manuscripts per contest judge's comments/suggestions, which became incredibly frustrating as the comments started to become contradictory. I finally learned to just trust my gut instincts.

HL: If you were an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?

DMR: Geez...I don't know...LOL I'm a Leo, so probably a lion. And I sure do love the story of Christian the lion. I even have a youtube video on my Myspace www.myspace.com/donnamarierogers

HL: Oh yes, there was a documentary on the tv over here not long ago. So wonderful to see an animal back in the wild where it belongs, but still remembering its human friends. Finally Donna, is there a question you really, really wish someone would ask, but they never do? If so what would be your reply?

DMR: "Donna, who do you think is the sexiest hero ever written?"

"Joe Winston from Say No To Joe? by Lori Foster.

HL: "I have to admit I haven't read that one - now I'm going to have to, to find out more about Joe Winston!
Thank you for being my guest here today, Donna, it's been wonderful finding out more about you, and I wish you amazing sales with 'Meant To Be.'

DMR: Thank you so much for letting me kick off my virtual blog tour with you, Lyn.

HL: It's been a real pleasure, Donna.

You can find out more about Donna Marie Rogers at her website: http://www.donnamarierogers.com/