Friday, June 20, 2014

Featured Author: Remy Landon

My guest today wrote one of my favorite books of 2013 under her real name. Because her new contemporary romance is a little (okay, word is it's a lot) steamy, she's written Point of Submission as Remy Landon. I hope you enjoy my interview with the mystery woman as well as an excerpt from her book.

About the book:

Cassandra Larsen is not the type to give in. But Carlo Leone is not the type to give up. The 27-year-old CEO of a prominent industrial company, Carlo is rich. Powerful. And devastatingly handsome. Tragic events in his past have caused him to be guarded, to view women as playthings in a provocative game he and his colleague created. When Carlo meets 21-year-old Cassandra at the horse stable he owns, he is instantly drawn to her beauty and feisty nature, but beneath her spunk, there is vulnerability and want. She will be a challenge--a perfect candidate for the contest.

Wary of relationships due to her rocky history, Cassandra is determined to resist Carlo’s smoldering eyes and maddening charm. Will she surrender? And will Carlo discover that this has become more than just a game--before it’s too late?

What they're saying:

"A wildly delicious story...Remy Landon, you have a hit here!" ~ Gloria Herrera, As You Wish Reviews

"Great read and brilliant author...desperately waiting on the next book!" ~ Country Gals Sexy Reads

"Entertaining and teasingly hot. Both Carlo and Cassandra will have you flipping pages." ~ Pamela Carrion, The Book Avenue Review

"Cassandra and Carlo's story was mesmerizing...a great page turner. The characters were rich and complex. And I cannot wait to see how this story unfolds." ~ Denise Holley, Books and Beyond Fifty Shades

Interview with Remy Landon

Remy, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I was first an avid reader, bringing stacks of books everywhere I went. When I was ten, I wrote a story called The Talking Cat and discovered, to my delight, that writing could be an enjoyable escape for me, just as reading was. I scribbled stories in a thick spiral notebook with doodles on the front, sitting in a yellow beanbag chair in my room and loving that I could create characters and make them come to life. One story became so real to me that I actually cried when I had the character die! The spiral notebook has been replaced by a laptop, but the pleasure I get is still the same. I heard somewhere that you should have a career based on what you loved to do when you were ten...I'd love nothing more than to follow that advice!

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I am currently a middle school teacher. It's been a wonderful profession for me, but I am actively pursuing a full-time writing career.

How did you create the plot for Point of Submission?

I knew that I wanted to write a romance, and I've always liked the combination of a cocky but charming male paired with a feisty female who does her best to resist him. In teaching writing to my students, I tell them that the “formula” for most books is to create a character and give that character a problem or issue. I came up with an issue for both Carlo and Cassandra. Since I know horses, I decided to have Cassandra work in a horse stable and thought since Carlo was rich, he could own that stable. I wanted to add an element of intrigue and decided on the “contest” Carlo and Brock play.

Sounds intriguing! What’s your favorite line from a book?

If I can pick two lines :), I'd say the end of Charlotte's Web – It is not often that someone who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.

The rules can be bent for Charlotte. Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I really enjoyed writing Carlo, because he's multi-faceted. On the outside, he has it all—-looks, brains, charm, success, money—-but inside, he's troubled and dark. I found myself wanting to know him better, if that makes sense. I wanted to show the reader his vulnerable side, and this will be explored further in the sequel.

I also liked writing Estelle Perry, his secretary, because of her dry humor and the warmth she projects, despite her no-nonsense attitude.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

I imagined Carlo to look like David Gandy. David gets my vote for sexiest man alive. I find it helpful to envision real people when I write the characters.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

Cassandra, of course, because I'd get to experience Carlo :).

And what girl wouldn't want to be Cassandra?! Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

I have several favorites :), but one that comes to mind is when Cassandra and Carlo are at the horse show in a private moment. The tables turn when she becomes a bit bold with him, pressing him to tell her what's going on inside him. She senses a rare vulnerability in Carlo and realizes at the end of the chapter that he is probably giving her all that he can. I also like the hayloft scene. Very much ;).

Do you have a routine for writing?

I usually sit at my writing desk, overlooking our porch, front lawn and fields. I like to have a glass of water with ice and lemon, and will sometimes have a Hershey's kiss (dark chocolate) – okay, maybe two. I call those “author vitamins” :). I am usually joined by one of my cats or dogs. I reread what I've written last and will sometimes just sit there for a while to get “warmed up,” and then hopefully, the words start to flow.

Author vitamins! I need some of those. Talk about your journey to self-publication. What steps to publication did you personally do, and what did you hire someone to do? Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service?

I had an agent for a book I'd written several years ago. It came agonizingly close to publication, and I decided to self-publish after I'd seen an article on Amazon featuring the success of Jessica Park. While it's a bit scary, it's also very liberating and empowering to be able to do it on my own. My English/teaching background has come in handy in terms of editing...I don't hire an editor for that. I had Michelle Preast of indiebookcovers for my cover art (love her!), and Pamela Carrion of The Book Avenue Review set up my blog tour - she has been absolutely wonderful. I'd recommend my husband as an editor, formatter, staunch supporter and barn builder, but he's too busy doing stuff for me to have time to take on anyone else :).

Does he have a brother? Just kidding. Sort of. What’s one of your favorite quotes?

"Be the person your dog thinks you are." I love dogs so much...I have four of them, all rescues. I love how you can be gone for a half hour or a half day, and their reaction is the same when they greet you at the door.

Very true. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to be around my horses—-my husband and I have a small farm, and he built me the most beautiful barn, which is my happy place, along with Target. I also enjoy walking the dogs in our fields, and I do a lot of networking on Facebook for shelter dogs in need—-sharing them with rescues. Working in rescue has been very eye-opening—-both heartbreaking and rewarding.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently trying to market like's challenging, because I'm using a pen name and starting from scratch with no fan base—yet :). I am also beginning the sequel which I'm very excited about.

Excerpt from Point of Submission

Late-day sunlight blazing in from the open door at the end of the barn swathed the visitor in a brilliant glow. Cassandra narrowed her eyes against the glare. It was a man. As he came into view, she could see that he was attractive. Correction: very, very attractive. Perfectly tousled, thick black hair and a broad-shouldered build tapering to a fit waist. His attire was completely inappropriate for a barn: a pristine white dress shirt, dark pants (which looked to be tailored), expensive-looking shiny shoes. A pair of aviator sunglasses hung in the V at the top of his shirt. He walked with confidence and purpose and style. Masculine elegance, Cassandra thought, as color unexpectedly rushed to her cheeks.

    She felt a twinge of excitement edged with uneasiness as he approached. Random men didn't usually visit Windswept Stable, unless they were accompanied by a horse-crazy young daughter or seeking riding lessons for said daughter. This man definitely did not look like a dad.

    Cassandra returned her attention to filling the water pail, then decided it was rude to not at least greet him. Adjusting the valve to slow the stream of water, she turned toward him. He had slowed his steps, looking at the empty horse stalls with a stern, almost brooding expression.

    Anxiety bubbled up inside her with each step he took. Don't be an idiot over some random guy, she chided herself. You should know better by now.

    Cassandra decided he might be lost and in need of directions. When he was two stalls away from her, she addressed him. “Hello. Can I help you?”

    The man stopped. His expression seemed to brighten, his lips parting slightly. He took a few steps closer until he was standing just a few feet away.

    Cassandra drew in her breath. Oh, God. He had a beautiful mouth, a classic Grecian nose and eyes the color of smoke with just a hint of blue, hooded by thick but neatly-trimmed black eyebrows. His face was deeply tanned, a striking contrast to the crisp white shirt, and although Cassandra was not usually a fan of facial hair, the shadow of a mustache and goatee gave him an aura that hinted rebellion.

From Carlo's POV:
    Carlo recalled the image of Cassandra as he sped down Route 72, the cornfields a blur on either side of him. What was it about her that had intrigued him? The obvious answer was her beauty. The uniquely-stunning color of her hair, the way wisps of it framed her delicate face. Those aquamarine eyes that changed each time he looked into them: not only the color, but what they projected: boldness, innocence, allure. And he was quite convinced he had seen curiosity and a hint of arousal. Remembering this made him harden.

    But there was more. It was the contradictions he saw in her: the feisty attitude juxtaposed with the wariness, the confidence opposite the vulnerability.

    Most of all, it was the challenge. He'd known from the moment they met.

    Without taking his eyes off the road, Carlo reached for his iPhone and commanded Siri to send a text.

    There were three words: I found one.

About the author:

Living on a small farm in New England with her husband, Remy Landon does some of her best thinking while mucking stalls. An avid animal lover, she would like to publicly thank her husband for putting up with the pet hair, the dogs on the bed, the things the cats hack up and the repeated requests for goats. It's a wonderful life.

Connect with Remy:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

Buy the book:
Amazon | Smashwords