Sunday, November 21, 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

"About the Author: Lila DiPasqua writes wicked & witty historical
romance for Penguin/Berkley. 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. Her novels, AWAKENED BY A KISS, and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED are featured in Doubleday as well as Rhapsody Book Clubs.

To learn more about Lila and her books, visit"
Lila DiPasqua on the web: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Lila's Latest Release: 
'The Princess In His Bed'
Released 11.02.10
"The Marquis’ New Clothes: To save her cousin, Aimee de Miran must retrieve a jeweled ring from the most sinfully seductive man at court, the Marquis de Nattes. But to search his considerable wardrobe she’ll have to get very close to the notorious rake…and soon she finds herself very close to him indeed, with his clothes—and hers—utterly forgotten…
The Lovely Duckling: Reputed for his carnal skills, Joseph d’Alumbert prefers amorous encounters without emotional entanglement—until a quick-witted lady stirs tender feelings and hot desire. Emilie de Sarron suffered burns to her body as an infant, and keeps her scars—and her heart—well hidden. But Joseph is determined to peel away her inhibitions, one slow steamy kiss at a time, to reveal the beautiful swan inside…
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…."

[Read an excerpt from 'The Princess In His Bed': here]
[Read My Review of 'The Princess In His Bed': here]

Get Your Copy Here:

RJ: Woot! Welcome back to Not Another Romance Blog, Lila! Thanks for stopping by today, I am so happy to have you!
LD:  I’m thrilled to be back!  Thanks for having me!
RJ: Congrats on the release of your latest book: ‘The Princess In His Bed’ (released Nov.2nd, 2010). This is your sophomore release with Berkley Sensations. Your previous book, ‘Awakened By A Kiss’, did smashingly! What feedback have you received from the readers since your debut book came out? Did you feel any pressure to make this latest book better than the last?  
Lila's debut book
LD: I always want to turn out quality books! :) I strive to give the reader pure entertainment, romance with sizzling sexual tension and scorching hot love scenes. However, you never know how any book will be received and I’m over the moon with the reactions to both books! The reviews have been fabulous.  And I’ve been getting fan email—globally. It’s knocked my socks off.  I just so thrilled how much readers are enjoying my Fiery Tales series.
 RJ: How about telling me and the readers a little about ‘The Princess In His Bed’ and where your inspiration for the book came from?  
LD: When I landed my first contract with Berkley, it was for two books. AWAKENED BY A KISS was done and my editor wanted me to write another Fiery Tales collection with three more sexy retellings of classic fairy tales.  I came up with my own twists on The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea. The ideas for The Marquis’ New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea just sort of came to me.  But I based my heroine in The Lovely Duckling, Emilie de Sarron, on three real women—triples, in fact. I saw them on TV and was so moved by their story and their courage.  They were burn victims and had permanent scars on their body.  It was during that television program that my burn victim heroine, Emilie took shape in my mind.  I just love her!
RJ: How long does it usually take you to write a book from beginning to end? And how long did it take you to write ‘The Princess In His Bed’?
LD: Each book is different.  I wrote THE PRINCES IN HIS BED under contract and it took about five months.
RJ: What challenges or difficulties did you face while writing 'The Princess In His Bed'?
LD:  Honestly, these stories poured out of me.  Not all books are like that. I love it when my muse doesn’t abandon me.  She can be so fickle.  :)
RJ: Did you learn any interesting tid-bits while researching for the book?
LD: Oh I learned a number of interesting tidbits while researching this book! The topics: burns, Basset and 17th century engineering. :) 
Because Emilie de Sarron is a burn victim in The Lovely Duckling, and because she suffered her injuries in a fire as a baby, I researched burns and burns on young children.  I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful critique partner who happens to be a pediatric nurse. She was a great source of information.  It was really important to me to make the scars on Emilie significant, yet it couldn’t be so bad as to make it impossible to for her to have survived—especially in the 17th century—where she wouldn’t have the benefit of modern medicine.
I got to do research on a very old card game—Basset—in The Princess and the Diamonds.  It was fascinating to learn that King Louis XIV had to ban Basset because of the number of noble families that lost their fortunes and came to ruin at the game.

One of the MANY fountains at Versailles
Lastly, in The Marquis’ New Clothes, my hero is a noble and a man who is part of the Royal Academy of Sciences.  Apparently, King Louis was never satisfied with the flow of his fountains at Versailles.  I decided my very sexy, brainy hero was just the man to find a solution to the problem.
RJ: Let’s talk about your Heroes and Heroines. Aside from physical attraction, what enchants one to the other and vice versa?
LD: In all three novellas in THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED, the heroes and heroines come to have a deep respect for one another.  They see redeemable qualities like honor and compassion and understanding in each other. They also admire the other person for their strengths. Their intelligence.  And their decency.

For example, in The Princess and the Diamonds, Princess Gabrielle is a rather hardened individual. Left alone in the Palace after her mother died, with no one to protect her from the court intrigue, she developed a hard shell.  She’d never met anyone who wouldn’t take advantage of someone when they had the upper hand, and yet the hero, Mathias doesn’t use coercion to make her his mistress when he can easily force her to be. It completely unbalances her and make her want him more!

Lastly, these couples not only fall in love with each other, but they just plain like each other. They become both friends and lovers and that, in my opinion, seals the deal for their HEA.  :)
RJ: Cover Love Time! The cover to ‘The Princess In His Bed’ is beautiful. What did you feel when you first saw it? Did it disappoint or exceed expectations?
LD: I was thrilled when I saw the cover of THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED. I love it! I think it’s as lovely as AWAKENED BY A KISS! I was so thrilled Berkley gave both books a sensual fairy tale feel.  I also love that they have a similar look that tells the reader these books are part of the same series.

RJ: Now that the deadline has come and gone, the drafts and edits have been to and fro-ed to death, and your release date has passed-is there anything you would have done differently with 'The Princess In His Bed'?
LD: Nope.  I like it the way it is.  I’d never hand something into my editor that I didn’t think was the best I could make it.  :)
RJ: Okay, now it’s Lila Time! What is a day in the life of Lila DiPasqua like? 
LD: LOL…It’s not in anyway glamorous.  After I drop my youngest at school, I pick up my Starbucks coffee (they make a fortune off me!) and head back home to my home office and begin to work---Researching, writing, answering email, promoting, answering more email, working on more promotion.  Writing some more.  I pick up my youngest from school, then dinner and depending on if I’m under contract, I may write a little in the evening.
RJ: What are some of your author/writing quirks?  
LD: I have to have either classic or new age music on when I write. I can’t write with dead silence.  It makes me crazy. Music helps me to concentrate.
RJ: In your opinion, what do you think makes a good story?
LD: The characters.  The kind of characters that you connect with and are still with you days after you finished the book. I think great characters makes for a great read.
RJ: Have you read any good books lately? What are you reading now?
LD: I was just in Lexington, Kentucky at Romance Day with a number of authors. I picked up lots more books (my TBR pile is more like a mountain), including Maya Banks’s THE DARKEST HOUR.  I’ve just started it and am loving it! Oh, and that cover is pretty darn delicious, too. ;)

RJ: What do you do when the pen (or keyboard) is down for the count? What hobbies or solitary interest do you like to pursue?
LD: Life has become a lot busier since I’ve been published (And with three kids, it was pretty busy already).  Between writing, edits and promotion, I don’t have much spare time.  What little there is, I devote to my three kids and husband.
RJ: Can you pass along a little pearl of wisdom to some of the aspiring authors out there?
LD: Keep writing. Write every day, even if all you can manage are a couple of paragraphs.  Finish your manuscript and shop it around. It’s the only way to get published.
RJ: What future projects can the readers look forward to from you in the new year?
LD: In August 2011, my first full length historical romance will hit the shelves—next in the Fiery Tales series—A MIDNIGHT DANCE. A steamy retelling of Cinderella, done as it’s never been done before! I’m soooo excited about this book. Here is a short blurb:
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0425241981
Coming August, 2011

Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy
story that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an
impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince…and make
him pay.
RJ: Final Question: If you could ‘weird-science’ your own gigolo, mixing and matching the genes of your favorite actors, celebrities and book characters to create the ultimate man slave.  Whom and what attributes would you combine?

LD: LOL! Great question! Bradley Cooper’s gorgeous face (his eyes melt me!), Johnny Depp’s hair (I could so run my fingers through that gorgeous hair), Hugh Jackman’s body (I LOVE tall men!!) with Orlando Bloom’s charm. :)

LILA'S QUESTION: What would make your “weird science” hero? It can be a combination of romance heroes/ celebrities.
One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS or
RJ: Thanks so much Lila for telling me and the readers all about your latest release, 'The Princess In His Bed'! It was a fabulous read and I know everyone has/will enjoy it as much as I did!

~*~Giveaway Details~*~
Lila DiPasqua has generously offered to giveaway (1) signed copy of 'The Princess In His Bed' OR 'Awakened By A Kiss' [winner's choice] to (1) one lucky commenter! Follow the guidelines below and comment for your chance to win! The giveaway will end on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 at 11:59:00 PM. The winner will be announced and contacted via email shortly after.  

Giveaway Guidelines: To be entered in the giveaway all you have to do is answer Lila's Question 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
+2 'Like'  The 'Not Another Romance Blog' Blog on Facebook
+3  Leave a comment on My Review of 'The Princess In His Bed' [Will Post Shortly]
+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

(A how-to guide for providing links to specific Facebook and Twitter status': here)

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

 [The giveaway is open internationally]
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:  

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