Monday, November 17, 2014

Blog tour: Little White Lies by R.C. Matthews

Little White Lies
By: R.C. Matthews 
Releasing March 24th, 2014 
Crimson Romance  

When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.

When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they'll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard?

The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white-collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?

R.C. Matthews was raised along with four siblings in the Metro Detroit area by deaf parents. In her senior year of high school, she joined the Year Book class and wrote many of the feature stories. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a B.A. in Accounting and German and continues to work as a certified public accountant. She lived for four years in Germany and two years in Boston, MA. She is a mother to two sons and stepmother to one stepson. Her husband patiently indulges her in her writing obsession. She enjoys traveling with her family and has been on four cruises in her lifetime. She also loves to read, down-hill ski, and play board games with her family.

Hello R.C.! 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.

First of all, let me say thank you for having me and taking the time to get to know me. What can I say about myself as a person? I’m a mother of three and have a wonderful and supportive husband. It took two times to get there, but I eventually found him. It’s a funny story involving internet dating, which inspired my second novel, Date Night, but that’s for another time. I make my living as a certified public accountant and only recently started writing contemporary romance novels for fun. Yes – that’s right – I said I write for fun. My husband finds that concept CRAZY. But writing is therapeutic for me. I get into this zone and just write whatever comes to my mind.   

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

Probably in elementary school when I would spend weeks writing my book for the annual competition our school held. Unfortunately I never won. But I never gave up loving to write. I considered becoming a journalist at one point but after falling in love with accounting, too, I decided that was a more practical choice for earning a living. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to pursue my life-long dream of writing a book. And now that I started, I can’t seem to stop. Ideas for new books keep popping into my head all the time now. Sometimes I wish my brain would give me a break. 

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

Little White Lies is an epic romance at heart…you know, with the swoon-worthy hero who sweeps the heroine off her feet? Think movies like Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing. Madalyn is on a journey of discovery, learning to let go of her black and white thinking, and Royce is a masterful teacher. Royce has promised to rock her world during the cruise. And let me tell you, he does! But the little white lies they need to tell along the way blur the lines between truth and reality, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Is he falling for her? Or is he only making good on his promise for a fun-filled week? Half of their journey is on the ship and half takes place back at home. Once daily life sets back in and Royce is accused of white collar crime, Madalyn must decide if she will default to her black and white ways or take a leap of faith for the man she has come to love.

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

I went on a cruise for my college graduation gift and absolutely fell in love with cruising. During my college years I also discovered romance novels. Yet I had never encountered a book with a cruise setting. So I was determined to write a book in which part of it took place on a cruise. Madalyn shares many of my personality traits when I was younger and I wanted to show how life experiences can shape and mold a person, helping them to learn and grow from their mistakes. Royce is my ultimate book boyfriend. I grew up with Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Sweet Home Alabama and more. I really wanted the hero to be that guy who absolutely blows your mind and who is infatuated with the heroine.

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


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

Oh yes, Jane Austen is my favorite author. I’m also a huge fan of Jude Deveraux, Megan McKinney and Judith McNaught. I can’t even count how many romance novels I read throughout college and in my twenties. My tastes changed in my thirties and I read more suspense, horror and mainstream books. But I’ll always have a sweet spot for the romance genre. Check me out on Goodreads and you’ll see I read a ton of romance now. I always write a review of the books I read to help other readers. When I buy books, I find the reviews from readers really help me in deciding if it’s the type of book I would enjoy.

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

Reading. Movies. Travelling. Board games. And surfing the internet. I’m a horrible Twitter stalker. I never even knew what Twitter was until I published my first book and the publisher suggested I open a Twitter account. Now I’m totally addicted. 

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

Absolutely. My sisters and my best friend read anything and everything I put in front of them, but I don’t think they’re always honest in their constructive criticism. That’s why I found a critique partner on Goodreads. I can trust her to give me harsh love when I need it. And I do the same for her. It’s the only way to learn and grow as a writer. I can’t fix something if I don’t know what is broken. 

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

My dreams include continuing to write books that I love and that challenge me as a writer. So I’m currently trying my hand at erotica with a story entitled “Make Me Whole” under the pen name K.M. Matthews. It’s not your typical erotica story – the protagonist is recently handicapped and misses the spontaneity of sex with his wife, so they invite a surrogate lover into their life – his best friend. You’re welcome to follow along as I write the first draft on I’m also writing a teen fantasy series with my twelve year old son. It’s along the lines of The Lord of the Rings but the protagonists are teenagers. It’s wonderful to sit around with my whole family on that series and brainstorm the plot. Who knows if they’ll be any good, but I’m having a great time writing them and forcing myself out of my comfort zone. And if others read my books and get a few hours of entertainment, then I will have achieved my dreams.

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

I always find it so interesting to see the range of reviews [from one to five stars] that a single book can receive from readers. I think the key is finding readers that enjoy your type of books. So what types of books do I write? First and foremost my contemporary romance novels will always have a happily ever after and they never end in a cliffhanger. Most of my contemporary romance books tend to lean towards romantic comedies because I love to laugh while I’m writing, and they often blur genre lines (romance/chicklit or romance/women’s fiction). Because I like to laugh while writing my books, I tend to shy away from lots of heavy angst in my stories – I write ‘feel good’ stories. [Although my most recent story is pretty darn full of angst – see my previous comment about challenging myself.] My writing stylealso tends to be rich in dialog – so you’llrarely find long passages of prose. I enjoy writing about strong heroines who know what they want, but who are also flawed. And my heroes are ALWAYS crazy, head-over-heels, can’t live without you, in love with their heroines. My husband complains that I’m creating false hopes for women. But alas, that is why we escape into books, isn’t it? 


Twenty minutes later, she entered the Valley of the Kings Dining Room with stories of the exquisite and elegant dining experience on a cruise ship bouncing through her head. Warm hues of red, orange, and yellow covering the bi-level room walls were reminiscent of a burning sunset in the desert night. Together with the soft background music, the dining room was warm and inviting. The colorfully dressed wait staff bustled about in celebration of “Fiesta” night.  Her mouth was already watering from the lingering smell of refried beans and sizzling fajitas. What other tantalizing dishes awaited her?  Looking around, she wondered if Susie and Liz were assigned to sit in the same dining room. She made a mental note to ask them later. Was it too late to request a change in seating arrangements? She hoped not. If only she had thought of this earlier when she had time to kill by the pool. 
She could hardly contain her curiosity as she approached her assigned table, but when she caught a first glimpse of three glowing couples, an inexplicable feeling washed over her. One of the women extended her hand to the couple seated across the table, showing them a huge rock on her finger. In that moment, Madalyn noticed the banner hanging on the wall: “Congratulations Newlyweds!” Her light mood suddenly evaporated as a tornado of emotions swept her up into her own personal hell. Her stomach lurched and twisted in the maelstrom. 
How in the hell could she have forgotten this little detail? She bypassed the table and circled around the dining room, making a speedy exit. Her mouth felt parched while her knees grew weaker with every step. She couldn’t fathom sitting at a table with three newlywed couples. How humiliating to have to explain her situation to them, to listen to their pity. Or even worse, endure their contempt. Damn it! 
Flames of red-hot shame crept up her neck and into her cheeks. With her gaze steady on the floor, she hoped nobody could see the tears that burned in her eyes. She exited the dining room and lifted her hand to her face, as if to rub an eyelash away, catching a tear that escaped, and collided head on with another passenger. 
Madalyn gasped in shock as her hands shot forward, and she lost her balance, only to be steadied by a strong pair of hands. A familiar heady scent filled her nostrils. She closed her eyes and knew in a moment she’d be gazing into beautiful emerald eyes. His hands were big and felt good on her waist. Why couldn’t she have bumped into him at a more opportune time? Right now all she wanted was to get the hell out of there.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, looking up into his steady gaze. He must have thought she was a complete klutz—first the lounge chair and now this. 
“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice soft and husky. 
“I’m fine,” she said, and bit down on her bottom lip. “I should’ve been watching where I was going.” She stepped away and motioned towards the dining room. “Don’t let me keep you. You’ll be late for dinner.” 
She turned to leave.
“Excuse me . . .  miss,” he called out, extending his hand to her.
“Madalyn,” she murmured and reached out for his hand. 
A feathery light sensation traveled up her spine when his hand closed around hers, infusing her with his warmth. Why was she so captivated by this man?
“Madalyn,” he said in a soft voice. “Royce.” 
Her lips curled up slightly at the corners. Royce was a sufficiently exotic name for her Adonis. It was unique, just like him. His rich baritone voice was easy on the ears. And she liked the way he wore his hair just a touch too long … perfect for running her fingers through it. Not that she’d have an opportunity to run her fingers through his hair. But if she did, well, she imagined it would feel heavenly. 
His eyes probed hers. “You look like you could use a stiff drink. Would you join me for one?” 
“You don’t need to skip dinner for me,” she said. “Your friends must be waiting for you.”
“I’m here alone,” he admitted, glancing down at his feet and shoving his hands in his pockets. 
How did he manage to look both sexy and adorable?
“You’ll rescue me from a table full of strangers,” he said with a wink. “Right now I’d love to have a drink with you. What do you say?”
Madalyn hesitated and looked everywhere but at him. As much as she found him physically attractive, she felt strange—it was almost like a date, and she hadn’t dated in a very long time. So much for her fling theory. “I don’t think I’d be very good company right now.”
“I didn’t say anything about wanting good company,” he laughed, donning a half-sexy, half-boyish grin. “Please come with me,” he begged softly, widening his eyes. 
 Her brow arched slightly. She was on the verge of capitulating. 
“You can tell me what made you bolt out of the dining room. I’m a great listener,” he continued to coax. 
Oh, hell no!
“After coming to your rescue twice in one day, I believe it’s the least you can do.”
Madalyn’s lips twitched and she could no longer contain her smile. The man made an excellent point. She reluctantly nodded her head in agreement. He grabbed her hand, as if afraid she might bolt, and pulled her toward the bar. His smile was contagious—like a child in a candy store with a pocket full of coins. 
Madalyn couldn’t help but wonder if she looked like candy.


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