BULLPEN BLITZ DAY ONE -- WELCOME MJ SUMMERS

It's time to get our Opening Day Bullpen Blitz started! Stepping up to the plate today is MJ Summers, international bestselling author of the Breaking Heart series.

Before I pitch her some questions, I have to tell a quick story about why I love MJ. We met last summer at the Romance Writers of America conference in New York. I happened to sit next to her in a session about a topic I can't even remember. The speaker started rattling off the names of good blogs, and MJ happened to see me taking notes.

She started to laugh. Instead of "Fussy Librarian," I had written, "Hussy Librarian." A friendship was born.

So here we go! Welcome MJ!!

 

Most important question first. What are we drinking today?

Angry Orchard Apple Cider (Yum!)

 

And what are we toasting to?

We're toasting the launch of the final book in my Full Hearts Series. It's been almost exactly three years since I started writing it and this is a bittersweet moment for me, but one I need to properly celebrate. So much of my life has gone into these stories, so much learning, and heartache, and lost sleep, and blurry-eyed typing. Five novels, one novella, and one short story in three years. It's an accomplishment.

OK. Let's talk about your book. How about a teaser? Give us your favorite swoon-worthy paragraph or bit of dialogue between your hero and heroine.

I'd love to talk about it. Thank you! First, here's the blurb from the back cover.

What if Mr. Right showed up at exactly the wrong time? When America’s sweetheart, Courtney Bennett, finds out her husband, Brock McCain, America’s heartthrob, is leaving her, she’s sure her life is over. Thirty-nine in Hollywood is tough on any woman, but not as hard as being hunted by the relentless paparazzi. Finding herself holed up in a cabin in Colorado under the care of Wes Young, her new bodyguard, she starts to see that maybe there is life after Hollywood. Wes Young spent more than twenty years in the Marines and the past two years in protection services. The only thing he guards more carefully than his clients is his heart. When he takes on the task of watching Courtney Bennett, the last thing he wants to do is spend his days and nights with a spoiled, self-involved actress. Before long, Wes realizes that she is not at all what he thought. For the first time in his life, he finds himself navigating the minefield of love, trying to avoid a broken heart. Will they risk it all to be together or return to the lives they knew before The Break Up?

Now for a special advanced preview (it hasn't gone through the line edit or proofing, so please forgive any mistakes). I'll set up the scene for you. Up to this point in the story, the sexual tension between Courtney and Wes has been building at a furious pace. They've just had an argument and she went to take a shower to try to clear her head. She exits the bathroom in only a towel, and there he is in the hallway....

Courtney gasped. She had nearly walked into him. “Oh, sorry. I thought you were outside."
She stared up at him. The look on his face was anger mixed with lust, but it didn’t frighten her. Instead it brought out the same in her. She was angry at herself for wanting a man like him—someone who could be so distant and rude. She was angry at herself for wanting anyone at all right now. But she did.
He glared down at her. “Don’t walk around the house without your clothes on. I don’t like it.”
Something about his tone and the look in his eye caused her to snap. She was through with being told what to do. She’d been letting people boss her around her entire life and she’d had her fill of it. Giving him a defiant look, she plucked at the top of the towel causing it to drop to her feet. “Is this better?”
The muscles in his jaw clenched so hard Courtney could hear it. Her heart pounded in her chest, fear and fury and desire blending together. For a horrible moment she didn’t know what he was going to do. Would he walk away? Would he finally touch her?
She didn’t have to wait long for an answer. Wes took two steps forward, pinning her against the wall. He slammed one hand on the wall behind her head and swore under his breath. Courtney flinched. She had crossed the line and she knew it. What she didn’t know is what he did when someone crossed the line.
He gave her a hard look, then traced a slow line down her naked body with one finger, stopping between her thighs. “Is this what you want me to do?”

And then things REALLY heat up...

In your mind, what makes for the perfect romance hero?

I think most women want to be respected, then adored - in that order. To me, a hero is a man who does both. He has to be generous and be willing to make sacrifices for those he loves and those who need it. He has flaws, sure, and sometime he'll make mistakes, but when push comes to shove, he does the right thing.

Superman or Batman?

Superman. The original Superman was co-created by fellow Canadian Joe Shuster. Superman isn't just a muscle-bound super-hero, he's kind and polite. Love that!

Tom Hardy or Tom Hiddleston?

It's a close one, but I have to give it to Tom Hardy for his versatility as an actor, as well as his writing.

Last question: What will we see next from you?

I'm adapting a short story I wrote last summer for a boxed set. It's called Honeymoon with a Billionaire and I'm turning it into a full-length novel. I cannot wait to write all those scenes that I had to leave out due to word count constraints. I had no idea how fun it would be to write about a billionaire. It's like having a romantic super-power. They can go anywhere and buy anything at the drop of a hat.

 

THANK YOU, MJ! 

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