Today, I am thrilled to welcome BEST SELLING author CHRISTIE RIDGWAY to our abode on the net.
I confess. I’ve been a fangirl of Ms. Ridgway for years! I love her voice. She writes contemporary romance, with wonderful touches of humor and sizzling sensual scenes between her hero and heroine.
Last month, I asked for (and she sent!) the Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) for THEN HE KISSED ME. And I LOVED it. I’ve reviewed it on “Cyndi’s World.” Click the link to read the review.
Of course, once I read THEN HE KISSED ME, I realized I’d somehow missed buying the first book in the series, CRUSH ON YOU. When I looked at the publication date, I realized I had been in the middle of getting ready for RWA National Conference and trust me, my plate had been full then. So I missed the announcement of Christie’s new series. Needless to say, I ordered CRUSH ON YOU immediately and it went to the top of my TBR pile (which, if you could see it—think leaning Tower of Piza—you’d know Crush when in front of lots of other books!)
So I felt compiled to tell everyone about CRUSH ON YOU. Like THEN HE KISSED ME, I have reviewed CRUSH on “Cyndi’s World.”
So without further ado….
Hi Christie. Welcome to Everybody Needs A Little Romance. I see you fellow Riders with the Top Down have stopped for gas. We’re thrilled you’ve hopped out of the convertible for a visit. I’ve got some questions I’ve been dying to ask. So, How long have you been writing? What was the driving force that made you want to write?
Christie: I wrote my first story when I was about 8 or 9. My mom typed it up so it looked “published.” But I took up writing toward “real” publication when my oldest son was a toddler. I sold my first book when he was in kindergarten. Driving force? Probably my love of reading romance. I wanted to tell my own stories too.
How many books do you have published?
Christie: 36! (link to her book listing)
Holy Cow! Seeing how young you look in your picture, you must have start publishing when you were about twelve! Who all do you write for?
Christie: I’ve written contemporary romances for Harlequin, Silhouette, Avon, and Berkley Books.
Do you have a favorite among your titles?
Christie: Of course that’s always a tough question. Usually, it’s the book I’m going to write next. But ifyou make me say, I’ll tell you that The Wedding Date (my very first book, a category romance forSilhouette) and Wish You Were Here (my very first single title romance) because they were the springboards into new worlds for me.
Do you have a favorite fairy tale? Have you ever based on of your books on that fairy tale?
Christie: I’ve played around with beauty and the beast elements and Cinderella too but never retold one, per se. As to my favorite—I just saw “Tangled” on Thanksgiving and I’ve always been into good hair, so maybe Rapunzel!
Ok, enough serious questions. We want to know the important facts about you.
How big is your To-Be-Read pile?
Christie: Yikes. I have books everywhere around my house waiting to be read. Looking around my office, I see about fifty. But I have them in my bedroom too. I also review romances for a publication called BookPage and I’m sent boxes every month of about 12-15 books. I’m not counting those!
What are you currently reading?
Christie: Emma, by Jane Austen for my book group. I’m listening to Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag when I exercise and clean house. I just finished a paranormal romance last night by Lori Handeland.
Is there a book you’ve read more than once?
Christie: Oh, I have dozens and dozens of keepers that I re-read. I love Robyn Carr’s Virgin River books. My mom just discovered Linda Howard, so I hit my keeper shelf and have been re-reading hers so I can recommend more to Mom. I’ll read Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb often, as well as Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The contemporaries and historicals of Lisa Kleypas.
If I looked through your closets, what is the one thing I’d find that would surprise me?
Christie: I’m a shoe-hoarder. I have never seen a shoe I didn’t like and I never throw or give them away (except worn-out running shoes). Honest to goodness, I don’t know how many pairs I have and I don’t want to examine too closely because I suspect there are a lot that are too-similar.
I’ve just handed you a million dollars. How are you spending it?
Christie: I’m putting my kids through college and remodeling my kitchen—then a vacation!
(tell us in the comments WHERE you’re going on vacation! Inquiring minds want to know.)
You’ve just won the car of your dreams. What is it?
Christie: Can I instead talk about the cars in my driveway that I’d like to get rid of? We have a 1981 diesel Mercedes that my dh converted to run on used vegetable oil that he gets from a local Chinese place. Love the idea, but it smells like French fries (strangely, not egg rolls) when it runs. Makes me hungry!
Then there’s the 1969 Thunderbird muscle car (which happens to have originally belonged to my dh’s grandmother!). Yeah, it’s cool. It’s a classic. But so expensive to drive that it just sits like a big, beautiful elephant.
Once I convince him to move those along, I might have room to dream up a car, though we have another three already!
Before writers write, we always research our topic. After reading CRUSH ON YOU and THEN HE KISSED ME, it’s obvious you did your wine research.
How much did you drink while writing this series?
Christie: (Primly) Hey, you don’t have to kill somebody to write a murder mystery! (Truthfully). I enjoy wine a lot. My husband and I went on a tasting getaway to the Napa Valley and had so much fun. However, I discovered that winetasting (it’s an afternoon thing) makes me very sleepy.
Red or white?
Christie: I usually go for white, and sauvignon blanc instead of chardonnay because it’s crisper to me, but we had some great reds when we were in the wine country. Love pinot noir.
Christie: In Sonoma County we had lovely wines at Foppiano Vineyards and it’s a decades-old family operation like the winery in my Three Kisses books. Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves, also in Sonoma County, inspired my books. Then in Napa, Chateau Montelena is a must…it’s the winery that’s center stage in the movie Bottle Shock which describes how Napa became famous for its wines.
I’ve been to Chateau Montelena. Incredible setting. When I was in Napa, we fell in love with Van Der Heyden vineyard. Very small vineyard. The tasting room was tiny, dusty, with cobwebs! LOL But we brought home the best late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, we brought home a couple of cases of wines from the various wineries. Now you’ve got me wanting to go back!
Who was your Favorite Vintner…the one that gave you the personal tour of his fields, taught you all the wine making lingo, etc
Christie: Everyone in the tasting rooms we met was so helpful, men and women. I’m usually very reluctant to tell anyone I’m a writer, but my husband would just launch right in with it. Part of the job of those pouring wine for visitors is to educate them. They know a lot about wine and love to share their passion.
I love the touches of royalty in THEN HE KISSED ME. During your research for that book, which European royal family did you interview and did you get to stay in their castle to get the “flavor” just right?
Christie: Wouldn’t that have been fun? Most of that part was from my imagination, but I did have a girl on my dorm floor in college who was a member of the royal family in Luxembourg. She was completely American in my eyes except she could speak a few languages and visited her well-connected family on vacations. Ultimately, she changed colleges to pursue a career in wine…and years later sparked a story idea for me!
Now that is a cool factoid! You really should send her the books. She would be flattered to know she sparked a book series!
I hear the other ladies of Riding With The Top Down tooting the horn. Sorry you have to run. I hope you can come by again soon! Thanks so much for dropping by.
Christie: Thank you!
If you’ve been by Cyndi’s World, you know I’m giving away the ARC of THEN HE KISSED ME and a brand-new, puppy chewed copy of CRUSH ON YOU. Leave a comment here and tell me which book you’d like to win. Then for a second chance to win the book of your choice, leave a message at the book review. A name will be randomly drawn.
To be clear…there is only one ARC THEN HE KISSED ME and one new, but puppy chewed copy of CRUSH ON YOU but you can have two chances to win.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Thanks again Christie.
And thanks everyone for dropping by.
Buy the books mentioned here:
Crush on You
Then He Kissed Me
Wish You Were Here
The Wedding Date
Filed under: Author Interview, Cynthia D'Alba | Tagged: Arkansas Cyndi, Bell Vineyards, Chateau Montelena, Christie Ridgway, Crush on You, Cynthia D'Alba, Foppiano Vineyards, The Wedding Date, Then He Kissed Me, Van Der Heyden Vineyard, Wish You Were Here |