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Friday, January 30, 2015

Review of You're So Fine by Kieran Kramer plus an Interview & Giveaway!

Last summer, I read author Kieran Kramer's book Sweet Talk Me and fell in love with Ms. Kramer's sweet talking charming hero Harrison and True, his modern day southern heroine. Sweet Talk Me holds a special place on my keeper shelf. I am THRILLED to report that I loved both Beau and Lacey the main characters in Ms. Kramer's You're So Fine but, the character who stole my heart was Henry, Lacey's adopted son. 

Lacey Clark leaves California and her dreams of becoming an actress and travels to the east coast with Henry, her adopted son.  Her ex-boyfriend's agent handed her the keys to a lighthouse located in Indigo, South Carolina. Lacey has six weeks to find a job and day care before the lease expires. Her first night at the lighthouse is interrupted by a knock at the door. Seems that Lacey's ex-boyfriend has leased the lighthouse to actor Beau Wilder, who is filming a movie nearby. The fun begins when Beau recognizes Lacey for a role in the movie Biker Aliens which was so bad it was released only to video and calls her Greta. Lacey and Beau decide to share the lighthouse.

The following excerpt is one of my favorite scenes from the book. It's a perfect example of Ms. Kramer crafts her dialogue to fit the characters and each scene in the novel. I love Henry's role in the conversation and it made me laugh out loud.

Henry stared back, and his jaw stopped working so fast.'I gotta run and get my magnifying glass." 
Beau almost spit out his bacon. 'You do?" 
Henry nodded. "How'd you get in that man's body? Nathan Ritter told me that real men live inside Pluto and Donald Duck at Disneyland. And now I know a dog can live inside a man." He swung his head to look at his mom. "Mom, can we call Nathan and tell him?" 
"Henry,' Lacey put her hands on the edge of the table. "You're not making any sense." 
"Where's your magnifying glass?" Henry asked Beau. "Let's go get it." 
Beau stopped chewing completely. Karma was such a bitch. 
"Are you alright, Mr. Wilder?" Lacey asked him.
 'Fine," he croaked like a dweeb. Here he called her Greta--really rubbing it in; God, he'd been stupid...and drunk--and now, now.......
 'He's Dudley the Dog Detective," Henry said to his momma.'And I am so glad that out of everyone in the world, he's decided to come live with us." 

I loved the three main characters of Beau, Lacey and Henry and enjoyed watching them grow and change during the novel. At first glance Beau appeared to be a smooth talking, spoiled actor who was used to getting what he wanted. Lacey has suffered many personal and professional disappointments and has put up a 'NoTrespassing Sign' when it comes to men. She has decided to focus on being a good Mom to Henry and to get a job to support her family. Henry is adorable and I loved the scenes when he and Beau looked for clues. Beau knows how to talk to Henry, but can he charm Lacey?

Ms. Kramer has the ability to draw the reader into the novel with her witty dialogue and well-defined characters. It's easy to identify with the characters because their day-to-day issues and family relationships are realistic. Mike, the film director, was very direct with Beau. He challenged Beau to step outside of his action adventure movie star personna and relate the character of Evan.  I loved the scenes with Lacey's mother Sheena and her husband Walt because they provided insight into Lacey's upbringing and past choices. Does Lacey push Beau past the point of no return at dinner with her parents?

 Beau and Lacey are attracted to each other and their chemistry sizzles!  I enjoyed how their relationship progressed as the story unfolded. Will they act on their feelings or remain friends?  The last few chapters surprised me as  there were unexpected twists in the storyline. I loved the ending and found it to be very rewarding.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Lady Celeste loved You're So Fine  and had a few questions for Kieran.

Both of your contemporaries feature strong female heroines. Are the characters based on anyone? Mother, Aunt, Friend? Both True and Lacey's lives did not turn out the way they planned. I loved that both characters made the best of their situation and "carried on."


My women are always a little bit Scarlett O’Hara, a little bit me, and definitely take inspiration from the rest of the females in my family—all of whom are strong, colorful gals—as well as friends of mine. But True and Lacey are also their own selves. A handful of magic fairy dust goes into the creation of each of my characters!

One of my favorite scenes is when Henry listens to Beau talking at the kitchen table and realizes that Beau is Dudley, his favorite cartoon character! What inspired that scene? I love your sense of humor.

That scene with Henry and Beau is one of my absolute favorites!!! I have no idea how that happened…suddenly, Beau was Dudley. Afterward, I realized that my favorite heroes are those with hidden nuances like this—something funny or even humiliating that they own up to. Note that Beau brings up the fact that Brad Pitt used to dress like a giant chicken to earn money before he was famous.

I find real men sexy! And men who love kids and who are willing to make fun of themselves are my favorite of all….

Three things you loved most about You're So Fine!

1) I love the lighthouse. We have a family friend who owns one. There are actually many privately owned lighthouses in the US.
2) I love my secondary characters, like Dickey, the pathological liar, and Mike, the film director. I grow very attached to all the people in my stories.
3) I love the sexy ease--coupled with respect--that Beau employs to work himself into Lacey’s life. I love Lacey’s prickly defenses and her love of makeup.

I know that you have written historical novels and are now writing contemporary novels. Why the change? Do you like one genre better than the other?

I’m one of those people who has so many interests, it takes someone to strap me down to stick to one thing for long. But I have to say that I feel that writing contemporary novels suits me best. I LOVE the Regency period of England for a lot of reasons and plan to get out more books in that time period, but my Southern sensibility just fits right into the genre I’m writing now. I love the Lowcountry and the South so much, I could write about it the rest of my life.


Do you have a writing schedule? Words per day or pages per day? No, I’m the antithesis of counting, organizing, etc., LOL! I’m a great big-picture person, however, and I see what I have to do--and wing it!!! I’ve noticed that it can be very stressful to live like that , so if you come into my office, you’ll see calendars, plotting boards, etc. But the real Kieran is all about waking up and figuring out the day as it comes.

Any advice to someone who is thinking about writing a book??
Yes. Stop talking about it, and write one double-spaced page a day for 365 days. That’s a book. And stop putting this dream on a pedestal. We tend to idolize our dreams to the point they are no longer in the realm of the practical and real (I read this somewhere and can’t remember where, but it has stuck with me). Our dreams are shimmering up there in the ether, and we’re so “starstruck,” we become too afraid to grab hold of ‘em.
You’re not perfect, and neither will your book be. It’s an extension of who you are now in all your messy, vibrant glory. Once the book’s done, you can polish it then, but right now get OFF the perfection train and just damn well sit down with a laptop or a yellow legal pad and write!
And be nice to yourself along the way. Stop punishing yourself if you get discouraged or quit for a while. This is a journey. Just pick up your pen or keyboard and get going again.

How do you balance your writing career with family time?
It’s hard!!! My family always comes first, even when I’m under deadline. I work to live, not live to work. I’m a professional and turn books in on time, but I’m always aware that life is fleeting and I want to spend as much of it as I can focusing on loving, helping, taking inspiration from, and laughing with my loved ones.


Any hints on your next book? Title, subject, available date???
Yes, ma’am! It’s called TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN, and it’s already up on Amazon (I think without the cover), but the cover reveal was on Heroes and Heartbreakers just this past week. I love it! It’s a contemporary romance that takes place in the Great Smokey Mountains. I used to live in Hickory, NC, and traveled up to Blowing Rock and Boone quite a bit. All my contemporaries could easily become series. I had Biscuit Creek, SC, in SWEET TALK ME; Indigo Beach, SC, in YOU’RE SO FINE, and now Kettle Knob, NC, in TROUBLE. But I tend to write stand alones. That goes back to question #1 where I said it’s hard to pin me down!!! LOL!!!


Lady Celeste and I are looking forward to When You Walked In!  

US Giveaway!
What are three things you love most about romance novels?
To enter, please answer the question, provide your name and email address.
Kieran has offered a paperback copy of You're So Fine  & a Love Conquers All koozie to one lucky commenter.
Winner will be drawn & notified on February 7, 2015.


USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer currently writes fun contemporary romance for St. Martin’s Press. A former journalist and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. She lives where she grew up-in the Lowcountry of South Carolina-with her family. Find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and at www.kierankramerbooks.com.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Kieran congratulations on your new release!! Three things I love about romance novels, are Character interactions, Happy endings...and that warm and fuzzy feeling they leave you with.

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    1. Hi, Misty! My favorite part is the warm, fuzzy feeling! Thanks for stopping by!! :-)

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  2. Best about romance.
    1. Takes me to new places.
    2. Makes me laugh and have fun.
    3. Watching the hero and heroine fall in love.

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    1. Lynne, I love all your answers, too!!! I'm so glad you dropped by to say hello!!! :-)

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  3. Awesome interview! I love your books (of course) but also your wonderful covers, Kieran!

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    1. Juanita, thank you so much, and thanks for stopping by!! I hope your 2015 is filled with great books!! :-)

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  4. Great interview! What I like about romance stories, They are happy, snappy and fun. I love when a story draws me in and makes me laugh out loud. I enjoy wanting to see the characters be together and live happily ever after.

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    1. I love that...happy, snappy, and fun!! Great description, Karen!! Thanks for visiting me on this wonderful blog. I hope you have a terrific week!! :-)

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  5. Can't wait for the next one! Kieran, you have a unique voice and it's going to sing for thousands of miles. :D

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    1. Landra, that is so sweet of you to say!!! I really appreciate that!!! Big hugs to you, my friend!!! I love seeing you online!!! XOXO

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