15 January 2014

INTERVIEW, EXCERPT, & GIVEAWAY: Kimberly Kincaid dishes about her new book, writing, & foodie romances

I'm doing a happy dance here at Fab Fantasy Fiction as Kimberly Kincaid not only took over sister blog Loving Culinary on Monday, but she's returned to discuss her new book PUSHING THE LINE, as well as what's next for Pine Mountain. So join us for a fun chat, and, of course, 
a super giveaway.

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Welcome, Kimberly! It's so great that you're able to join us during release week for PUSHING THE LINE, the fourth book in your Line series. I really enjoyed reading it and have to admit that I'm never going to look at a pecan cluster the same way again, though I did try out the recipe that you included, but the missing ingredient couldn't be found anywhere in my kitchen - Aaron. But here, try some, and could I get you a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe even a little decadent hot chocolate before we begin?

Okay, coffee it is. Let's chat!

(EVW) As I've mentioned before, I was introduced to your work via THE SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP, which you wrote with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell. What was it like to work with them? I'm assuming that you all interacted quite a bit as your three stories flowed seamlessly - one to another - in this fabulous holiday romance collection set in Pine Mountain. (I'm not going to ask you more about Pine Mountain now, but readers should know to look out for your new series that will be set in that community.)
(KK) I had the best experience ever with Donna and Kate! We all share the same editor, and boy did she know what she was doing when she put the three of us together. We took the Sugar Cookie ball and ran like mad, pretty much from day one, sometimes to the tune of about 50 group emails a day. It took a bit of work and story-sharing, but we really had fun getting Sugar Cookie just right.

(EVW) Once I fell in love with the three stories in the holiday collection, I discovered your backlist and the first books (novellas) in your Line series - Love on the Line, Drawing the Line, and Outside the Lines. Set in Brentsville, an upstate New York town, this series really captures the sense of community there with the characters you've chosen to highlight, a chef, a diner owner and manager (both who are great cooks), two police detectives, a physician, and a firefighter. Did you base Brentsville on any location in particular or just an amalgam of a small town?
(KK) Even though my towns are fictional, I always have a very clear sense of them in my head. I went to college in upstate New York, so I had a base for Brentsville, but it was 90% my imagination at play. My mind is a busy, busy place!

(EVW) Each of your characters in the Line series has an interesting back story that impacts their life and their relationships with one another. Not only that, but in these novellas you've been able to keep us up-to-date with each of these characters lives, so that when we pick up a new installment in the series it's like greeting old friends as we begin to catch up with what's happened in their lives. That said, how on earth do you manage to squeeze all this in to stories that are just about 100 pages? [And I haven't even mentioned the HOT love scenes!]
(KK) I do a lot of pre-writing, mostly in the form of outlines. Because the line books are shorter, every word matters! So I map out the books by chapter—what do I want to happen here, how will each character grow or change there. Once I set the flow of the story, I fill in the plot after. My critique partners and I have a running joke about the outline note reading “Put Sex Scene Here”

(EVW) I'm hoping Brentsville never runs out of people to be featured in your series, but can you give us a hint at who's next? And when we might look out for it?
(KK) For the immediate future, I’ve got my sights set on my print series (the Pine Mountain books) because we’re getting four of those in the next 12 months (yay!) But let’s just say that my next project will have you all thinking hot. Those firefighters aren’t far from my mind!

(EVW) I know you just had a book signing in Maryland this past weekend with some other fabulous authors - Laura Kaye, Sally MacKenzie, and Ava Miles - do you have any other in person appearances that fans should be keeping an eye out for? Where can they find out about them?
(KK) My website and social media will always have my appearances listed, but I’ll be at Turn The Page bookstore on April 4th, signing Turn Up The Heat, as well as at the Washington Romance Writers retreat that following weekend. I’ll be at Romantic Times, signing and presenting in New Orleans in May 2014, and at the RWA National conference in San Antonio, signing in July 2014.

(EVW) Speaking of which, how can your readers help you? In this digital age, authors really seem to be doing it all. Not only writing, but also marketing their books through social media. I'm not just speaking about independent authors, but really everyone it seems is really reaching out to a fan base in a way that wouldn't really have been possible - say 10 years ago. You know, pre-Facebook and Twitter. What would you suggest? What could they do to help spread the word about your work? And do you have a Street Team they can join?
(KK) I love my Street Team! It’s Facebook based for now, but we’re exploring ways to take it to my website where we’ll have more room to play. Anyone who’s willing to help spread the word about the books can request to join, and I do extra giveaways, early reader copies, exclusive cover reveals and excerpts there. But the two biggest things I can say that help get the word out are to tell friends about the books (on social media and in person) and write honest reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. The more visible a book is in reviews, the more others will get a chance to see it. Everybody wins!

(EVW) Considering the focus on food and foodies in both The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap and the Line series, do you have any special culinary background or is food (and those who create it) something that's always been of interest to you?
(KK) I eat a lot No, seriously, I was raised in a fairly big Italian family, and I married into one too. We live by the mantra the Food Is Love. I don’t have any formal training—although I’ve done a lot of research and I’m fascinated by chefs—but there’s been a lot of trial and error in my kitchen at home.

(EVW) Could you share what authors you feel have inspired you? Who do you have on your bookshelf now?
(KK) My bookshelf is groaning! I’m always inspired by the amazing writing of Barbara O’Neal, Louisa Edwards, Kristen Callihan, Susan Donovan and Jill Shalvis. The headliners on my TBR are Robin Covington and Avery Flynn (hot, sexy contemporaries), Tracy Brogan (hilarious romantic comedy) and historical authors Alyssa Alexander and Jennifer McQuiston.

(EVW) As a mom, wife, and writer, what is your normal day like?
(KK) Always on! I’m up at 5AM every day, and I write full time. My three girls are 12, 9 and almost 7, and they are blessedly cooperative most of the time! I write early, get them off to school, then write all day while they’re gone. Once they’re home we go through the after school routine, and they usually help me cook dinner. My husband likes to get in the kitchen too (he makes best homemade barbecue sauce EVER), so dinner is often a family event. Then I work a little more before bed, and read as I’m falling asleep. It’s a crazy life, but I wouldn’t trade it!

(EVW) Could you share what inspired your first book? Do you have any suggestions for readers who feel they have a book in them, but aren't quite sure where (or how to) start writing?
(KK) I’ve always had stories rattling around in my head, and one day, I thought, “I’m just going to start writing this down”. A whole book popped out! Needless to say, I’d had no clue how to write, so it was a mess But I learned quickly and had great guidance from my mentor Wendy Corsi Staub and many people in the Romance Writers of America. So my advice would be to surround yourself with other writers (RWA has many local chapters and online forums) But the best piece of advice I can offer is to write the book. Really commit to it, even when the process is less than pretty. I can assure you that my books did NOT look how they look now when I first started writing each of them. So don’t worry. Just write!

For more about Kimberly, her books, and how "food is love," see her guest post at LovingCulinary.com.

Read Emsy's reviews of THE SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP 
and PUSHING THE LINE on TheBestReviews.com.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 
TO WIN A DIGITAL COPY OF 
PUSHING THE LINE
& A SWAG PACK FROM KIMBERLY OF
CONTEMPORARY GOODIES
(Winner from the US only)


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THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON


PUSHING THE LINE 
(Line Series Book 4)

Free-spirited artist Harper McGee is happy to go wherever the wind takes her…until her flight pattern sends her back to Brentsville, New York for her beloved grandmother's funeral. Harper’s grief turns to shock, however, when she discovers her grandmother has named her sole proprietor of her candy shop, Luscious. But she has no intention of being anchored to one place, and anyway, she doesn’t know the first thing about running a kitchen or a business. Selling Luscious is the only viable option— until the shop catches fire due to old wiring. Fixing the damage requires major work, and if Harper wants to put it on the market, she needs major help. 

Thrill-seeking firefighter Aaron Fisher has never walked away from a challenge or a friend. So when a fellow firefighter is hurt on a call and can’t complete a side job for his contracting company, Aaron’s quick to jump in. He’s done plenty of fix ‘er ups for his buddy in the past, and despite his silver spoon upbringing and his no-holds-barred attitude, swinging a hammer suits Aaron just fine. That is, until he discovers the client is the same impetuous woman he forcibly dragged from the flames of Brentsville’s local candy shop. 

The more time Harper and Aaron spend at Luscious, the hotter their attraction burns, daring them both to shed their tough outer layers to reveal the tender desires beneath. But when a buyer makes Harper the offer of a lifetime, she must choose between roots and wings. Can two people who live in the moment learn to see past the moment, or will Aaron and Harper always live their lives pushing the line? 

PUSHING THE LINE
Curtis Brown Digital
Price: $1.99
Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Purchase from Amazon

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ABOUT KIMBERLY

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to √©clairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital “line” series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington books, to be followed by her first full-length print novel, Turn Up the Heat. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid). 

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EXTRAS

In addition to the recipe for Violet Morgan's Chicken and Dumpling Stew that Kimberly shared on Loving Culinary yesterday, she has a whole lot of other great recipes from the LINE SERIES on her website. Check it out and get cooking!

Watch the trailer for THE LINE SERIES

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ADD THE REST OF THE LINE SERIES 
BY KIMBERLY KINCAID 
TO YOUR BOOKSHELF


Curtis Brown Digital
Price: $0.99
Publication Date: February 23, 2013

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again. 

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s as if insult and injury have joined forces— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is. 

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve in the kitchen, but can she put love on the line? 
Curtis Brown Digital
Price: $1.99
Publication Date: April 24, 2013

When Detective Jason Morgan is tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a make-or-break case, he rises to the challenge. The job is his first priority, and he owes it to the memory of his father, a detective killed in the line of duty, to do it at any cost. But Jason never expected Serenity Gallagher to be so beautiful, so serious...or so tough to protect.

Serenity has moved from place to place at the whim of her capricious mother all her life. The last thing she wants is to leave the diner she finally calls home, even if it means being stuck with a sexy blue-eyed detective. But she’s the only witness to a horrible crime, and the man behind it wants her very, very dead. Going into protective custody means survival, no matter how much Serenity hates hiding. 

As Jason and Serenity bide their time together, they are shocked to discover they have much more in common than the surface reveals. But keeping her safe is Jason’s number one priority, no matter how much he’s drawn in by the woman beneath the witness, and Serenity’s past makes it difficult to trust. As the stakes get higher and the spark burns hotter, can Jason and Serenity draw the line? 
Curtis Brown Digital
Price: $1.99
Publication Date: August 28, 2013

As an Ivy League ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fianc√©e. 

Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood. 

As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?

Purchase from Amazon


......................ADD THE COLLECTION...................


Price: $3.99
Publication Date: August 4, 2013
3 Novellas by Kimberly Kincaid
LOVE ON THE LINE, DRAWING THE LINE, OUTSIDE THE LINES

Purchase from AMAZON

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ADD THE PINE MOUNTAIN SERIES 
TO YOUR COLLECTION

THE SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP
by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kincaid
A Pine Mountain Holiday Collection (Prequel)
Kensington Books
Price: $12.00
Publication Date: September 24, 2013

For friends Clara, Abby and Lily, only one thing is more delicious than the Pine Mountain holiday cookie exchange – finding the right man before they ring in the New Year!

Where There's Smoke. . . by Donna Kauffman
When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky firefighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker's rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist. . ..
"Donna Kauffman writes smart and sexy, with sizzle to spare!" --Janet Evanovich

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell
Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are. . .impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she's truly been longing for?
"No fan of the genre should miss Angell's surefire romances." –Booklist

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid
When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high--and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart--and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?
"A mouth-watering, heart-warming, toe-curling holiday romance!" --Amanda Usen, author of Luscious

Purchase from Amazon



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The Pine Mountain series by Kimberly Kincaid
"Smart, fun, and heartwarming." --Jill Shalvis
"Kimberly Kincaid knows how to whip up a delicious love story." --Susan Donovan

TURN UP THE HEAT
A Pine Mountain Novel (Book One)
Zebra Books (Kensington)
Price: $6.00
Publication Date: March 4, 2014 (Pre-order now)

"It's not you."

There are only so many times a girl can hear those words before she believes that it is, in fact, very much her. Unexpectedly jilted by her locally famous boyfriend and haunted by a boss who makes Attila the Hun look like a lap dog, Bellamy Blake does what any self-respecting girl in her shoes would do. She rounds up her two best girlfriends and makes plans to get the hell out of Dodge. . .

But Bellamy's escape plan takes a nose dive on the side of rural route 164 when her transmission self-destructs, leaving her in the middle of a cell phone dead zone with nothing but her wits. Oh, and Shane Griffin, the hottest mechanic who's ever checked under her hood.

Yet this small-town man isn't all he seems. Can Shane and Bellamy prove that sometimes the most unlikely ingredients make the most deliciously sexy mix?

Purchase from Amazon



GIMME SOME SUGAR
A Pine Mountain Novel (Book Two)
Zebra Books (Kensington)
Price: $6.00
Publication Date: June 3, 2014 (Pre-order now)

"A sweet and sexy treat! Don't miss it!" --Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author
Out of the frying pan. . .and into the fire!

Desperate to escape the spotlight of her failed marriage to a fellow celebrity-chef, Carly di Matisse left New York City for a tiny town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The restaurant she's running these days may not be chic, but in Pine Mountain she can pretend to be the tough cookie everybody knows and loves. Until she finds herself spending too much time with a way-too-hot contractor whose rugged good looks melt her like butter. . .

Jackson Carter wasn't looking for love. But he's not the kind of man to walk away from a worksite--or from a fiery beauty whose passionate nature provides some irresistible on-the-job benefits. . .

It's the perfect temporary arrangement for two ravenous commitment-phobes--except that Jackson and Carly keep coming back for seconds. . .and thirds. . .and fourths. . .

Purchase from Amazon