Jessica Scott is not your average romance novelist. She's a career army officer, mother, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood, and Iraq. She considers herself a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. She's also been published in the New York Times AT WAR blog - so, she's no slouch. She's also an awesome romance writer.
Please join me in welcoming Jessica Scott to UNWRAPPING ROMANCE.
Amy: Hi Jessica, it's an absolute delight to have you here with us today. Thank you for taking time from your very busy day to visit with us. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for the benefit of those who don't know you yet.
Jessica: I’m thrilled to be here today! Thanks so much for having me. Honestly, I’m just a regularly hyperactive over achiever. I live in constant fear that someone is going to figure out that I’m a fraud and call me on it. I’m married w/ 2 kids, 3 cats, 3 dogs, 2 hamsters and a couple of fish and I’m also in the army.
Amy: LOL! Jessica, you're no fraud and even if you were, we won't tell. As a woman living in a world dominated by men where women have to be as tough and physically skilled as any male soldier, I'm curious about what drew you to writing and why you chose the romance genre?
Jessica: I had a fantastic battalion commander tell me once that everything is about relationships. When you think of life in those aspects, it changes the way you deal with things. Romance is nothing if not about relationships, you know? Plus, my grandmother got me started reading romances when I was younger so it was kind of a natural fit for me to graviate into the genre. The romance writers I’ve met along the way are so incredibly supporting and amazing. I’ve never met a group of folks who are more willing to lend a hand or a shoulder, you know?
Amy: Most definitely! The romance community is one of the most fabulous group of people I've ever met. I love how you center your stories around the harsh realities of military life, its rules and regulations. As a woman in the military, you're already placed in a position of scrutiny, so I'm wondering if your fellow soldiers know that you write romance and if they do, what do they think of it?
Jessica: Some of my former soldiers know about it but for the most part, I try to keep my writing life separate from my military life. I’m a company commander and it would be grossly inappropriate for me to talk about my writing in a professional forum. So most folks don’t know about it until after I leave the unit. The folks that do know about it have been amazingly supportive and kind of in awe that I’ve managed to carve out the time to get a book written, revised and sold, you know?
Amy: I'm rather in awe of that, too. You are true model for the modern woman. Reading UNTIL THERE WAS YOU was especially easy for me to connect to being the daughter of an officer who, like yourself, began his career as an enlisted man then went to, what was then, called War College where he was recommissioned as an officer. I know that those who have seen action tend to carry much of their experiences tucked deep inside, just as you have Evan, Claire and Reza do in the story. Without divulging your own secrets, how much of you has been instilled in Claire? I can see where she may be a reflection of your military experiences as a female officer in the Army?
Jessica: Claire is a lot like me in that she’s a hot head and she always thinks she’s right but other than that, she’s completely fictional. I’ve never done any of the things Claire has done, except for getting my butt chewed by a full bird colonel. That actually happened to me more than once and let me tell you, it is NOT pleasant.
Amy: LOL! They aren't any easier on their kids, believe me! In reading UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, we meet supporting characters who endear themselves to us as much as the hero Evan and the heroine Claire. Will Reza, Sara, and Mallory ever have their stories told?
Jessica: I have already started on Reza’s book. I love a tortured hero and wow is he screwed up. Sara hasn’t taken hold yet in my mind as a full blown story. Mallory may show up down the road but I’m not sure yet.
Amy: Oh, how I was hoping you would write Reza's story. His character really touched me and so I either wanted to smack him upside the head or hug him. My absolute favorite scene in the story (I had many) was the scene where Claire first sees Evan's tattoo. My dears, I'm not going to give anything away but I just want to tell you that I thought it was the most incredibly sexy scene and they didn't have sex. So Jessica, can you tell us where your inspiration for such an incredibly sensitive and unique scene came from? By the way, it made me cry.
Jessica: I love that that scene made you cry! Personally, I love it when a book moves me enough to make me cry but that’s another story. Back to the tattoo scene. I have to give credit where credit is due: the Romance Man suggested that Evan needed a tattoo. As far as the inspiration for the scene, I love it when a big powerful man stands with his head bowed. It’s a symbol of strength and to be honest, it was going to take a very strong man to love Claire.
Amy: Wow, it worked and Evan is an incredibly strong man. I think that was what was so touching about that scene. He let his guard down and at that moment he was practically putty in her hands. I loved it!
Do you have any favorite authors who you enjoy reading and have they had any influence on your writing?
Jessica: Who are my auto buys? Sherry Thomas, Laura Griffin, Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, Laura Kinsale, Courtney Milan. I would say that Nalini Singh is the most recent author who has influenced me. She has such an evocative way with words. I love the deep sensuality in her writing.
Amy: No argument there, she's awesome. Last question and one I ask everyone, if I have the opportunity. IF you could be ANY character in ANY book, not necessarily one of your own - who would it be and why?
Jessica: Oh wow, well let’s flash back to my youth: I’d want to be Lessa in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight. She’s the first strong female character I remember identifying with and man, who would pass up an opportunity to ride a dragon? Yes, that’s my inner nerd shining through!
Amy: LOL! Imaginative and fantastical - great start to your creative inspiration.
Jessica, having you visit has been such a pleasure and an honor. I'm sure my readers join me in wishing you congratulations on the release of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. I'm definitely going back to read BECAUSE OF YOU - I've heard great things about it. Thank you for Evan and Claire's story, it was one of those that I didn't want to end. Also, thank you, and God Bless you, as well as your family for all that you do in your service to our great country and may He always keep you safe.
Jessica: Thanks so much for having me here today! I’d love to give away a copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to someone who answers this question:
What character would you be in what book?
Amy: Well, my dears, you've been issued a challenge from this lovely lady. Leave a comment with an answer or even just a hello along with your email address to be entered to win a digital copy of Jessica's hot, steamy romance featuring lovers in uniform, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. Good Luck.
Giveaway Prize: A digital copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott
To read an excerpt from this fab new contemporary release click HERE.
Blurb for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU:
He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.
He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.
Giveaway Rules: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks for playing.
* Giveaway is open to everyone (void where prohibited).
* Answer Jessica's question in a comment but be sure to leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win.
* One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a digital copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU and notified by email and then announced in a special post on Saturday.
* Giveaway runs until 11:30PM EDT, Friday, October 12, 2012, so comment now and Good Luck.
If you're interested in learning more about Jessica Scott and her fabulous books as well as what's coming next, please visit her website and feel free to follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
Happy Reading Everyone!
UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott, Loveswept from Random House, available now in ebook formats.