Wednesday, February 4, 2009
An Interview with Liana Laverentz and A Chance to Win Jake's Return!
Please welcome Liana Laverentz to my blog today. She's won NJRW's Golden Leaf two years in a row as well as an EPPIE Award. I'm thrilled and honored to have her here today!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Liana: My grandmother, or Oma, lived in Germany. When I would go to see her, she would take me out for afternoon coffee, or Kaffee, to a café in a nearby town. It was called a Konditorei, with a bakery on the ground floor and a crystal and linen dining room on the second floor. You would walk in, chose something from the display case that ran the length of the room, order your coffee or tea, go upstairs and be seated. Your order arrived via dumbwaiter and would be brought to you by the waiter or waitress. My Oma would always order Himbeerkuchen, or raspberry cake. Kind of like those cakes you see with a spongy yellow base and jelled fruit on the top—or strawberry shortcake?
Anyway, her favorite was red raspberry cake, and I always got Nusstorte, or a hazelnut torte, because I was a kid and could eat a million calories and not take them home with me as friends for life. She would have coffee, and I would have tea…with lemon.
It was all so very elegant, and I always felt so big and grown up.
I love this memory because every time I bite into a fresh raspberry anything I remember her, and those afternoons at the café.
Alisha: Oh, Liana! That is a precious memory! Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Liana: Rebecca and Jake in Jake’s Return have been friends since they were the town outcasts together. I loved writing their story because when you have two characters who know each other intimately (and I’m not talking in the carnal way, which they also do) the dynamics are such that you can do so much more with them than when they have just met and are slowly learning about each other’s hopes and dreams and greatest fears and disappointments. There’s a level of comfort that arises between them that is so much fun to play off of. There’s a history they can draw on, and nobody knows your strengths and weaknesses like your best friend.
Here’s a small excerpt:
He offered lemonade, she accepted. Their fingers brushed when he handed hers over, and Jake felt a damning jolt of sexual heat. He looked up and caught a faint flush in Rebecca’s cheeks. Their eyes locked. Apparently she’d felt something, too.
Great, Jake thought. Just great. If he thought for one second she’d go for some hot, no-strings-attached sex, they’d be halfway upstairs already.
But that wasn’t Rebecca, and never had been. Rebecca came with all kinds of strings.
“The yard looks nice,” she said.
“Thanks.” He’d spent most of the afternoon working on it. “It’d look better with some grass instead of these ratty clumps of weeds, though. I’ll have to look into seeding it.”
“I thought you were leaving right away.”
“Can’t hurt to fix the place up a bit before I unload it.”
Strong emotion flashed in Rebecca’s eyes, startling him. The unexpected flare-up passed too quickly for him to be sure, but Jake would have put his money on anger—or maybe bitterness.
Bitterness? Over his selling the house?
Maybe she expects you to stay.
She couldn’t. If she knew him at all, she couldn’t.
Alisha: Ahhhh...intimates. I love the sound of this story. If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Liana: A housekeeper, a publicist and freedom for my friend Louis.
Alisha: If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Liana: Greece and Italy, and France and England. (I’ll get there yet, Charlotte, you just wait and see!)
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Liana: My Oma. And my friend Earl, and my friend the Group Captain (he knows who he is), all of whom have passed on. I’d like to be able to tell them I now realize how wise they were (I’m sure they already know) and thank them for not pointing out how clueless I was.
Alisha: If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Liana: I can’t imagine anyone I’d want to subject me to under those circumstances. We wouldn’t be friends when it was over, that’s for sure. I am not an outside girl…do not enjoy the outside, or the beach, or especially sand, in anything but the briefest of stretches. And sand with no amenities? Despite all the years of positive thinking CDs I have listened to, I would start complaining, and fast. Odd, because my website (www.lianalaverentz.com) is set on the beach, but really, I chose that for the colors and the sunset. I collect sunset memories. I love to watch a sunset from anywhere. But a full week of being in the great outdoors anywhere, no thank you.
Alisha: Ha ha...you and me both! I like to go outside but I want a nice bed and a shower at night. What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Liana: “You will not be charged for this call.” As anyone who has read my blog knows, my friend Louis is serving life in prison and on Fridays I blog about the differences between his life/thought processes and mine. http://lianalaverentz.blogspot.com/ He only calls collect when he’s upset with me or expects me to be in a bad mood. He says, “I’m not paying for you to argue with me.” (I swear sometimes we bicker like an old married couple.)
So now I smile no matter what the recorded message says. (Each time he calls, a mandatory recorded message plays, first.) If I won’t be charged, everything is cool. If he calls collect, I smile and say what’s on my mind, since it’s my money I’m spending.
Alisha: I'll have to stop by your blog. If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Liana: Go to one of those day spas and get totally pampered. Hair, nails, steam bath/sauna, some kind of body wrap, facial, massage, reflexology, a couple of nice, healthy, light meals with lots of fresh fruit and water, soft instrumental music, and meditation.
Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Liana: I can’t say I would change anything, because all of what I have been through has brought me to where I am, which is a very blessed place to be. I can say I wish I’d caught on to a few things a little sooner so I could be a little farther along the path, but really, it’s all good.
Alisha: What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Liana: “Never accept being less than equal in this relationship. I know I won’t.”
Thin Ice (NJRW Golden Leaf and EPPIE Award Winner)
Jake's Return (NJRW Golden Leaf Award Winner)
Ashton's Secret (available June 26)
CONTEST: LEAVE LIANA A COMMENT TODAY AND YOU'LL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF JAKE'S RETURN, TO BE ANNOUNCED AFTER MIDNIGHT.