Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Feaured Author: Natalie Damschroder

Multi-published author Natalie Damschroder is here today to talk about her romantic suspense novel, A Kiss of Revenge. Find out about Mary, her writing tips, books she loves, and where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world. And don't miss an excerpt from the book after Natalie's interview.

About the book:

Marriage is completely over-rated, especially after Reese Templeton’s quadratic failure. She’d rather settle down to a solitary life of owning a bakery—after she tracks down the man responsible for her husband’s death and making her a human tazer full of enough electricity to short out a city block or send a man into cardiac arrest with just one kiss.

But the alluring P.I. Griffin Chase is stirring up those feelings of need again. Only this time, her desire to be in his arms has nothing to do with her fear of loneliness and everything to do with the current charging through her body every time he looks at her...touches her.

Griffin hasn’t remained at Reese’s side just because of the spark that has nothing to do with her super-human talents. He’s willing to compromise his rock-solid principles so she can find closure. But before they can move on, he must help her catch her late husband’s killer, staying on track before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs may just break his heart for the final time.

Interview with Natalie Damschroder

Natalie, you've published 15 novels, 7 novellas, and 15 short stories. Wow! How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing for about 20 years, since right after I graduated from college and got married. I’d slowly come to the realization that writing was my main skill, I lived in an area where it was impossible to use my degree in geography and environmental studies, and I loved to read romance more than pretty much anything else. My mother was a writer, and I’d spent a lot of time rebelling against the idea, but that probably also made it easier to embrace when the time came. :)

So you write full time?

I do freelance editing and proofreading for a few clients and work part time in a chiropractor’s office. It’s a juggling act, but gives me some stability as well as flexibility.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

She’ll stop at nothing to find her husband’s killer. But will vengeance set her free, or become a darker trap?

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

My favorite analogy is flying (by the seat of my pants) in the dark. I plan about as far ahead as the headlights show me. If I get an idea far enough in advance of when I can actually try to write it, I’ll brainstorm pieces of it—-mostly backstory and broad concepts. The characters are whole to me in the sense that I feel as if I am them, though of course I don’t know much about them until it’s uncovered. The plot almost always evolves as I go.

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

Before I had kids, I had a lot of books I read over and over. The Little House books more than anything, and then Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys and Carolyn Keene, and then Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts. And then I just didn’t have time to read stuff more than once, and now there are always so many new books out there it’s just impossible. :)

The one current exception is the Harry Potter series, which I listen to on my iPod every year after the football season is over.

When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

Nope. Most of the time I know the hero and heroine, and the rest of the cast pops up when they’re called for. It’s one of the most fun parts of the job, discovering their importance unexpectedly. I often don’t know who the villain is until the book is a fourth done, and sometimes they’ve been there all along!

I’m constantly on the lookout for new names. How do you name your characters?

I, too, am on the constant lookout for new names! I really love unique names, though I force myself to use normal once sometimes. :) I used to work for a workers’ compensation case management company, and when I came across cool first or last names I jotted them in a journal. If that’s not handy and I need a name, I use Name Shake (an app on my iPod) or the phone book.

I'm definitely going to check out Name Shake! Thanks for the tip! Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I used to. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing anymore! LOL I used to be a night owl and had my most productive time between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., even though my brain always seems to want to write mid-morning, no matter what else I’m doing.

I’m still a night owl, but I have to get up at 5 or 6 and can’t handle that little amount of sleep anymore. So when I write it's all haphazard, depending on the work schedule, client projects, and deadlines.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

On retreat! Unfortunately, that’s only once a year. My local writing group goes to a convention center out in the boondocks where we can do nothing but write and relax for 3+ days. It’s such a luxury not to feel guilty for writing. :) Every couple of years, a few of us get together at a friend’s beach house (in January LOL) and do the same thing.

Sounds wonderful. Where’s home for you?

I love this question. It’s more complicated than you’d think! LOL I grew up in Western Massachusetts, and New England is home. I feel different when I visit the Rhode Island beaches or drive up I-95 in Connecticut or visit family (or my daughter, who is now in college in Boston). But when I was 16 we moved to a tiny village halfway between Albany and Hudson, NY. We lived in a renovated 200-year-old colonial while I was a senior in college, and I LOVED that house. I want that house. I lonnnng for that house!

And now I’ve lived in central Pennsylvania longer than I ever lived anywhere else (21 years). It’s where my kids were born and grew up, and is literally home.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

The Whole Truth by Jody Wallace. I love her brand of humor and clever hand with the paranormal.

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Her voice is so compelling, and I adore her characters.

Out of Control by Stephanie Feagan. She has fast-paced romantic adventures set in really unusual places. This one is set in the world of oil drilling.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Favorite things (besides reading): Watching NFL football; going to local pro soccer games with my kids; going to the movies.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Don’t worry about the money. Your publisher is paying!)

I would really like to visit the cottage where I was born, in South Ruislip, England. My dad was in the Air Force, and I was a year old when they came home. My mother always wanted to take me back, but she died about 10 years ago, and we never made it. I think it will be heartbreaking to do it without her, but I want to see it, anyway. (Or at least the town, since the cottage might be gone by now.)

I hope you get there. So what are you working on now?

We’re in the final stages of my next Entangled Ignite, Hearts Under Siege, which will be out in February. It’s a best-friends-to-lovers story with a spy twist and is full of secrets and angst. It might be my favorite book!

It sounds fantastic! I hope you'll be back to tell us about it.

Excerpt from A Kiss of Revenge:

Griff smiled, and Reese’s stomach did a whole flippin’ somersault.

“I had meetings at the office in Boston and was headed back to DC. I thought I’d stop in and see how you’re doing.”

She grabbed a towel to wipe off her ice-cream-sticky hands. “Crestview is not on the way to DC from Boston.”

He shrugged and pointed at the butter croissants in the bakery display case. “Close enough.”

With a pair of tongs, she selected the biggest croissant and put it on a plate. “Coffee?”

“Of course.” He leaned against the counter and folded his arms. “You have anything for me to check out?”

She shook her head. “Not at the moment.”

“What about him?” He jerked his head toward the sidewalk outside, where Andrew Laine stood talking to the couple who owned the hardware store. “He giving you any trouble?”

“Not anymore. I told him I was married.”

She cursed herself as soon as the words were out of her mouth. Griff’s gray-blue eyes darkened, his rock-solid chin tightening. He’d obviously meant “trouble” because of Reese breaking the law, not because the chief of police had asked her out.

“You’re not thinking—”

“No!” She grabbed the towel again and swept it over the few crumbs and coffee drips on the counter, scrubbing vigorously at one dried spot. “I didn’t want to shove him too far away, that’s all. As long as he had an interest, I could keep track of what he knew.” Even if it kept her on edge and fried her equipment. “Anyway, he knows now. It’s fine. You don’t have to worry.”

“You pay me to worry.”

That wasn’t strictly true. Griff was co-owner of a multi-city private detective firm. He ran Chase Investigations in Washington, DC, where Reese had lived before the plane crash. Reese had hired him to help her track down clues about whoever had tried to kill her. But they’d become friends. He’d helped her through physical therapy, been a sounding board while she dealt with her new reality, and was the only person on earth who knew what that lightning strike had done to her body.

“I’m paying you to do research,” she reminded him. “You choose to worry.”

He grinned and shook back his shaggy dark-blond hair. “You make it hard not to.”

Another group came in, and he retreated to a table with his breakfast. Reese saw Kimmie eyeing him, and the young woman flushed at his greeting. Reese couldn’t blame her. He had the classic “hunk” build, with a broad chest, narrow waist, and shoulders shown off by a tight gray T-shirt. His gray-blue eyes were nothing special at first glance, but they sparkled at everyone and made his charming smile even brighter. No doubt that smile was what pinned Kimmie in place now, wearing a slightly stunned expression.

Reese wasn’t immune, but her friendship with Griff had become one of the most important things in her life. It was something she’d never had before, and she was going to treasure it as long as it lasted.

About the author:

Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—-Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2014 will see the publication of her 15th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she's not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters she's dubbed "the anti-teenagers," one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about her and her books at

Connect with Natalie:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Entangled Publishing

Buy the book:
Amazon | Natalie's Amazon page