Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog tour: Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder


Her Best Shot
Hot & Nerdy # 1
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing September 29th, 2014
Lyrical Press: Kensington

With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…  

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…   

Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?   

Shannyn Schroeder is a former high school and middle school English teacher. She holds a BA in English and MAs in Special Education and Gifted Education. She currently works as an editor for an education company and juggles writing around her kids’ schedules. In her spare time, Shannyn loves to bake and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She started her first book on a dare from her husband and has never looked back. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending, and writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.


Hello Shannyn! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m a former English teacher who discovered romance while staying at home with my kids. I started reading and fell in love with the genre. I write contemporary romance – the O’Leary series and the Hot & Nerdy series. I started writing while my kids were young, so I’ve always worked around their schedules. My writing time was their ballet/football/swim lesson/tae kwon do time. Now that they’re all in school, I try to get my writing done during the day so I can be with them in the afternoons.

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer? 

Unlike many authors, I never really considered becoming a writer. I mean, I’ve always written, but the idea of it being a career never occurred to me. In college, I was an English education major (English teacher) and I knew people who were on the English track to become writers. I thought they were crazy. Although I didn’t know much about publishing, I knew that it probably wouldn’t give me a regular paycheck, and I wanted that.
It wasn’t until I found romance and began reading it, that I had the spark of an idea. I followed that idea, still unsure of the move, unsure if I could write an entire book. I did (it was horrible, but complete) and I fell in love with writing all over again.

Let’s speak about “Her Best Shot”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

Her Best Shot is a novella about a math nerd falling for a gypsy pool shark over spring break. Layla is driving across country to get to Texas to enjoy her last spring break with a friend, but her car breaks down in Georgia. This is where she meets Phin. More bad things happen to Layla and Phin offers his help. They fall for each other while playing pool, Phin screws up, and when they meet again, he’s got some making up to do.  

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

When my agent suggested I write a novella, I knew I needed to limit the length of my characters’ interactions and I thought spring break would be perfect. When I created the characters, I knew I wanted something different and I love the idea of geeky girls getting the guy. So I started with the girls – all nerds (math, gamer, science) and then thought about who to pair them with. Phin was a lot of fun because he’s a gypsy.

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Quick nerdy fun

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

I have so many favorite authors – Jennifer Cruise, Jill Shalvis, Julie James, Shannon Stacey…so many, I could never name them all. They all write contemporary romance and I think I’ve learned something from each of them.

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing? 

I bake when I get stressed – plot not moving? Bake cookies! I also watch a lot of TV. I have hours and hours that record every week on my DVR (best invention EVER). I also have 3 kids who keep me pretty busy.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

My best friend is probably my biggest fan. She loves everything I write (even when it’s bad). My kids are also pretty supportive. However, it’s my writing group, Chicago-North RWA, that has taught me the most and has given me more support than I ever expected.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

My dreams and plans as a writer are to continue writing. I’d love to be able to put out 3 books a year. This year, I’m doing that equivalent (2 novels in my O’Leary series and 3 Hot & Nerdy novellas). I’d like to be able to do that every year, but right now, I have a day job that takes away some of my writing time. I’d like to get to the point that I make enough money to quit at least one of my part-time jobs.

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

My books are about escape. I love romance because I’m guaranteed a happy ending. Real life is depressing enough, so I don’t want to read it. Although as a reader, I appreciate dark, angsty characters, I don’t write them. My books tend to be lighter. I write what I hope are relatable, everyday people.

She held her cue in front of her chest, the line bisecting her, making it difficult to do anything other than focus on her breasts. He reread her shirt and began to think about pie. And Layla naked.
“So what’d I do wrong?”
She moved the stick in order to walk, breaking his concentration on her chest. She neared him and asked, “Why did I miss?”
“You got cocky and it cost your concentration. The first two worked, and, although the third shot should’ve been an easy one, you lost your stance and your bridge was sloppy. You didn’t have enough control. You can’t ever spend time thinking about the last shot. Worst case, you focus on the shot at hand. Best case, you think two or three shots ahead.” 
She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes. “How am I supposed to plan ahead if I don’t know where the balls will land?”
“You predict. Look, if I try to hit the three into the corner, it’s going to push others out of the way. Where are they going to roll? That’s how I’ll set up my next shot. I can force those balls to land where I want based on how I hit them.” He took a swig of his beer. Layla didn’t respond, but she absorbed what he said. He saw the understanding in her eyes and didn’t need the verbal confirmation. 
“I want the five to move to the left, so I’m going to hit it on the right side with a little spin. I don’t want it to shoot far, just enough.” He leaned down and took the shot. The three swooshed into the corner pocket, and the five lined up exactly where he wanted.
Layla’s face suddenly brightened. “I got it!” She walked to the opposite corner and rattled off possibilities.
He nodded and then cleared the solids without looking up. Layla didn’t crowd him and she’d stopped flirting. When the eight fell into the pocket, he straightened and laid his cue on the table. Layla didn’t acknowledge him. Her gaze stayed locked on the remaining balls. Maybe she was so competitive that she was a sore loser.
“Can I clear the table?”
Her question surprised him and his face must’ve reflected that.
“I know you won, big surprise, but I think I see the shots I’d take and want to try.”
“Knock yourself out. I’m going to get another beer. You want one?”
“Sure. Thanks.”
Phin went to the bar and grabbed the beers. When he returned, she was racking the balls.
“Another game?” Layla asked.
“Sure. What are we playing for?”
“I’m a poor college student. I’m still not going to pay you twenty dollars.”
“Not confident in your ability, huh?”
“I’m confident in my ability, but you’re a shark. My money’s staying in my pocket.”
Phin moved closer and handed her a beer. “So what do you have in mind?”
She tilted her head, as appeared to be habit, and said, “A kiss. I’ve never kissed a guy with hair longer than mine.”
He reached out and ran his hand over the back of her head, where there wasn’t enough hair to grab. “Not hard to do. Besides, if you want a kiss, all you have to do is ask.”


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2 commenti:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today and for the fun interview!