Please enjoy this interview with Bella Andre, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the contemporary romance series, The Sullivans. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards!
Interview with Bella Andre
about her best-selling series, The Sullivans
1. You create characters beautifully and are an absolute master of plot twists. It seems like you could write in almost any genre and do a bang-up job of it. What made you decide to devote your efforts to the romance genre in particular?
Thank you so much for the compliments! I've always been a huge romance fan - I've been reading nearly a book a day since I was a teenager - so it was a natural fit for me when the characters starting appearing in my head one day. :)
2. How did the idea for this interconnected contemporary romance series first come to you? What was your inspiration?
I love the family series that have always been popular in historical romance - like Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series and Nora Robert's MacGregors - and I was also inspired by my husband's large family. It seemed like a natural fit to combine the funny and sweet family dynamics into an overarching series of sexy contemporary romances with the alpha heroes that I love so much.
3. Everyone seems to have a favorite Sullivan. Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but who is your favorite? And who's most like you?
I'll have to plead the fifth and pick Mary Sullivan - the family matriarch - as my favorite Sullivan. She's the heart that keeps the family together and I get emotional whenever I write a scene with her. In fact, in COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER (Smith Sullivan's story), the scene where he calls his mother to ask for love advice is one that so many readers have told me is their absolute favorite scene in any Sullivan book.
As for who is most like me - maybe Sophie Sullivan from I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU. She loves to read (and is a librarian) and when she wants something (in her case: bad boy Jake McCann), she goes for it! Of course, I'm also a lot like Lori Sullivan (aka "Naughty") with her big mouth and constant laughter.
4. In your opinion, what ingredients are needed to make up a good love story? Is life the same as fiction in this respect? Why or why not?
I love to love my characters and when I write a story I need two heroic, nice, good people (and why not gorgeous, too?!) who deserve love and have a lot of love to offer in return, but who are flawed partially because they haven't found that perfect someone who complements them like no other. I like my fiction to be a little bigger than life - the Sullivans are extraordinarily hot, sensitive and attentive - but at their heart, they're all very real.
5. How has your own love story with your husband informed the Sullivan series? Are there any scenes that are directly taken from your own life?
I have the best husband in the entire world. Sweet, loving, sensitive…and super hot! He's always supported me in everything I've ever done and I think his strength and capability to love is at the core of every hero I write.
With that said, none of the scenes are ever taken directly from my own life. I have a very active imagination. :)
6. Let's pretend for a second that you are a single woman living in the world of the Sullivans, which of the six brothers would you be most likely to fall in love with and why?
Ohhhh, now THAT is a fun fantasy! I would fall in love with each and every single one of them - and do, while I'm writing each of their stories! If I had to pick one, I might have my eye on Marcus (FROM THIS MOMENT ON) - because while all of my Sullivans are sweet, sexy and sensitive - Marcus is the only one with his own endless supply of wine from his winery. And there's just something about the oldest brother…. Then again, Zach Sullivan is such a great combination of cocky and sweet. And Ryan Sullivan has all those muscles. And Gabe is such a hero as a firefighter (and I love his dirty talking between the sheets). And Chase is so sexy and protective. And then there's Jake McCann (who falls in love with Sophie Sullivan) with his tattoos and big muscles. Not to mention Lori's hero in the upcoming ALWAYS ON MY MIND which will be out this spring. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Lori's hero just might be the hottest hero I've ever written.
See, what did I tell you earlier? I'm no good at picking just one. So let's just say, yet again, ALL OF THEM!
7. The Sullivans and their beaux have some pretty interesting careers. From photographers and sculptors to professional actors, musicians and ball players all the way to firefighters, librarians and business owners, they lead very exciting lives! What type of research did you have to do to capture these jobs so well? Do you have any interesting research anecdotes to share?
I've written firefighters and athletes in previous series which helped with my firefighter, Gabe (CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE) and my baseball player, Ryan (LET ME BE THE ONE). I also live in Sonoma and have a lot of experience with wine and wineries which was ideal for winery owner Marcus (FROM THIS MOMENT ON) and as a writer I've been blessed to work with many librarians who served as information points for Sophie (I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU.)
For books where I need inspiration, the internet has been amazing and when needed, I also call on the help of professionals. Even though I'd written firefighters before, I still sent all my firefighting scenes to a professional and for Smith's book (COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER) I sent all the acting-set sequences to a local film producer.
8. I was very touched by the inclusion of Yorkie puppy, Cuddles, and Great Dane rescue, Atlas, in book five, If You Were Mine. Are you a dog person yourself? If you have pets, I'd love to know more about them!
I *love* animals. I had the best time writing the two dogs in IF YOU WERE MINE. They had their own little love story in that book, which pleased me to no end. There's a cat that plays a very important role in ALWAYS ON MY MIND (Lori Sullivan's story, coming Spring 2013). My whole family loves animals, and we've recently adopted a beautiful cat. Or more accurately, the cat has adopted us, smart little minx.
9. The Sullivan series is currently seven volumes long. How many more books do you have planned, and which other family members will get the spotlight in their own books?
Lori's book (ALWAYS ON MY MIND) is up next, and there are 5 Seattle Sullivans who are ready for love - I will start with Rafe Sullivan's book this summer! Plus, I have something *very* special planned for Mary Sullivan, their mother, planned to release for the holidays in 2013.
10. And lastly (for a bit of random fun), what has been the most amazing/ touching/ validating interaction you've had with a fan of your books?
Everyone who has ever written to me on Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or via email to tell me how much they love my books and that the Sullivans have moved them in some way has touched me. I love my fans, so, so much! I have the very best time in the world writing about my Sullivans… and knowing that I have so many absolutely wonderful people waiting to read them as soon as they're released is a total thrill every single day.
Books may be read in any order
You'll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You'll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world's heart.
All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!
To Win the Prizes:
- Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
- Visit today’s featured social media event (that's where the HUGE prizes are)
Get the eBooks via Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, the iBookStore, or the Kobo Store.
Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.
Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine "Red Hot Reads" twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her "One of the top digital writers in America" and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.
If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.
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For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he’s planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.
Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name – Nico – for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is…or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger – and the sinful promises – in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.
One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions – and sizzling attraction – keep drawing them closer together.
Close enough for them to wonder if stealing one more secret moment together can ever be enough?
Enjoy the following excerpt for FROM THIS MOMENT ON...
Marcus Sullivan was known for his patience. After helping to raise his seven siblings, he’d learned to wait out tantrums, fistfights, even tears.
But tonight, he was all out of patience.
He’d come to the club tonight to find a woman, to proposition her, to claim her for one no-holds-barred night, but he’d been watching the dancers for long enough to know that he wasn’t going to take a single one of them to bed. None of the women who’d walked in through the thick red curtain in the past thirty minutes had been contenders, either.
Until, suddenly, the curtain parted…and she walked in.
Marcus felt like a fist had slammed straight into his gut.
The woman was young, mid-twenties probably, and so beautiful it almost hurt to look at her. Her black leather dress left nothing to his imagination, fitting her like a second skin with wide cut-outs that ran down the side of her insane curves.
She was the one.
As she stood in the doorway and slowly scanned the crowd, every eye in the room was on her. She was magnetic, had that special something that made it impossible to pull your eyes away from her.
And then her eyes met his, illuminated by a beam of light in the dark room, and although Marcus hadn’t drunk nearly enough at Chase’s engagement party to be unsteady on his feet, one look at those clear blue eyes had him fighting for balance.
What was wrong with him?
He needed to remember, at all times, what tonight was about. Pleasure. Not emotion. Not a relationship. It was okay for certain parts of his body below the waist to react like a match had been lit from nothing more than looking at the woman. Everything else was off-limits. He wasn’t looking for a woman to respect.
And he definitely wasn’t going to fall in love.
The dangerous curves began to shift beneath the thin layer of leather as she moved straight toward him, never once breaking stride, even in impossibly high heels. Marcus couldn’t miss the challenge in her gaze, a look that asked if he was man enough to handle her.
He’d always liked his women tall and slim, not barely coming up to his chest like this one. A voice in his head told him she was way too young for him, young enough that if this were any other night, he’d walk away from her now.
But he wasn’t planning on walking away from whatever this woman offered. Not until first light.
And definitely not until he’d had his fill of those curves.
...Excerpt from FROM THIS MOMENT ON by Bella Andre ©2012.