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Get HOT for only 99 cents! Click image for details.

If you’re feeling the winter doldrums, you, my friends, are in the RIGHT PLACE! Why? Because the brilliantly talented Judy Powell is here with one HOT SUMMER for us all to enjoy. Grab your icy beverage of choice and dig your toes in the sand, folks, because it’s getting HOT in here today! (And did I mention she’s giving away copies of her book? Yowza! Stay tuned to the end to find out how you can take one home.)

Welcome, Judy! We’re here for the scoop on your sizzling romance HOT SUMMER, but I was snagged by your bio—stunned, frankly, by your collection of Master’s Degrees. (Yes, readers, I said collection—as in, MANY.) While I try to get my jaw to hinge shut, can you tell us about these prestigious accomplishments and what drew you to pursue each field?

Thank you so much for having me!

In addition to writing I have a passion for learning.  I wish someone would pay me to learn full-time (smile).  Alas, the bills have to be paid so I have to keep my day job.  I love travel and foreign tongues so my first degree is in foreign languages and international business.  This opened opportunities for me to travel and work in various countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Europe.  When I left college in New York I started working for a multinational corporation in Jamaica and wanted to do an MBA.  However, I was told that the prerequisite was 2 years of work experience which I did not yet have, so I did an MA in Spanish in the meanwhile.  Once qualified, I did the MBA in marketing.  I love the world of reading, writing and books so I did the MA in literature and then followed with the MFA in creative writing.  My problem is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (laugh) – at my age!  I have my eyes on a program in Psychology but promised my brother I wouldn’t do any more degrees right now.  We’ll see how long I can hold out…

Okay, seriously, I think my IQ just went up about ten points listening to you. (Yeah, so I can’t actually *hear* you but we don’t operate on technicalities around here, LOL!) As you mentioned, you’ve traveled extensively to some smokin’ hot locales. Did you have any specific locations in mind when you wrote HOT SUMMER?

When I wrote HOT SUMMER I was working in Chicago, which is a beautiful city, so I decided to set my story there.  However, I love tropical settings so it flowed naturally for me to take my characters to the island of Jamaica.  Things can get hot when you’re away from the office and in a romantic location!

Yep, I’m sold. I don’t have an office to escape, but I’m very much with you on the hawt romantic location. (Okay, not with you, per say . . . wait! Where are you going? LOL!) HOT SUMMER’s female lead, Summer Jones, is described as feisty, a tigress with a quick temper and sharp tongue.  Which traits, if any, do you most closely share with her?

I’m actually the opposite of Summer Jones – reserved, easy-going and quick to avoid conflict.  I think I’d make a boring heroine.  Summer, on the other hand, is someone who makes for an exciting read because she’s always making something happen.  Then when she bumps heads with a man who is just as strong, you know what comes next – conflict, conflict, conflict.  The perfect ingredient for an exciting romance!

And more bumps! LOL! Let’s cater a bit to the readers meeting you for the first time today. If one is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first?  Why?

I always suggest that my new readers start with HOT SUMMER.  The novel is a great mix of conflict, steamy romance and culture.  Although this is a romance novel, in writing it I tried to weave various aspects of the Chicago and the Jamaica cultures into the story.  I touch on a little bit of history, music, cuisine, etc. so that you feel as if you’re actually there in that location.  I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on this, with some readers telling me they’re now planning to visit the places I feature in my novel.  This is very gratifying.

Wow, that’s amazing! And also utterly convenient for our readers here today since you’re offering copies. (Hang in there to the end, guys!) Let’s put you on the other side for a moment, Judy. Which genre are you drawn to as a reader?

I read anything and everything but my favorite genre is romance, historical romance to be specific.  Although I write contemporary romance I do have the outline and first two chapters of a historical novel, and hope to launch into that area very soon.  I love being thrown into another time period, another place.  While losing myself in the story I always learn so much.  By the way, my all-time favorite romance novel is THE WOLF AND THE DOVE, a historical romance by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  I presently have 3 copies on my bookshelf and every so often I go back and read the book all over again.  A real masterpiece!

You know, you’re the second person to mention Kathleen Woodiwiss to me. I’m definitely going to have to check her out. :c) Clearly you’re open to a wide variety of reading material. Can you describe your writing process?

Because I have a full-time job as well as mommy duties (and, of course, I’m always studying something or other) the only time I can find to write is in the early morning before my work day starts.  I get up at 4:00 a.m. and write or do writing related research until 7:00 a.m. then it’s time to get ready for the day.  On the weekends I get up at 6:00 a.m. and write till 9:00 a.m.  I usually prepare an outline of my story and then speak into a micro-recorder.  Because my mind goes faster than my fingers (I’m a slow typist) this is the best way for me to prepare my first draft.  I then type it out when I have all of the first draft recorded.  (I’ve heard that Dragon Naturally has some new and improved software that can type accurately as I dictate.  I think I’ll get one of those for Christmas!)

I really admire your dedication. (Seriously, the only time I ever see 4:00 a.m. is when I’m on the still-awake side of things.) I bet that software is amazing — it sounds perfect for you! Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, I do.  Based on my personal experience I would encourage writers to set themselves deadlines for each project.  If a self-imposed deadline does not work, share the deadline date with a friend and promise to pay him or her a fine (make it at least $ 100 so it will hurt) if you do not hand in the completed project in time.  I find that when I do not have deadlines I procrastinate and a project may take me years.   With a deadline I can finish a 75,000 novel in 3 months.  Also, focus on completing your first draft, however rough it may be, then go back and edit.  I find that if I begin editing as I go along I never finish.  Even areas requiring research can be handled this way.  If you need to insert some historical data or double check something like clothing worn in a particular period, just make a note to yourself and then get back to it when the first draft is completed.  Sometimes research draws us away from writing and we may lose that momentum.  Avoid that at all cost.

Excellent advice — some I certainly need to heed. (We won’t get into how long it takes me to write a book. GAH!) Let’s take a closer look at HOT SUMMER, maybe tease our readers a bit before you give those copies away. (Pssst: giveaway details follow the excerpt!)

HOT SUMMER | blurb & buy link

A hot-tempered spitfire and an arrogant, super-sexy man – put them together and sparks fly!

After her first embarrassing encounter Summer Jones vows to stay away from music mogul, Lance Munroe. But then she ends up working for the man. Her quick temper and sharp tongue keep landing her in hot water with him but no matter how hard she tries she can’t deny her growing attraction for him. Then they go on a business trip to Jamaica – and that’s when things get really hot!

Lance is intrigued by the feisty woman who practically tells him off the first time they meet. When they begin working together he realizes how much he enjoys the challenge of taming the little tigress. But, before he knows it, he’s the one caught in the snare of passion. The tables are turned – the tigress has tamed the lion.

If you love a sizzling romance, follow Summer and Lance from Chicago to Jamaica and be swept away in the thrill of their hot summer.

MORE INFO & BUY @ AMAZON

JUDY POWELL | about the author

Judy Powell is a writer and marketing consultant living in Ontario, Canada.  Her first romance novel, Hot Summer, placed second in the Toronto Romance Writers Contemporary Romance Competition.  She has two additional romance novels in stores: Hot Chocolat, which is the sequel to Hot Summer and Some Like It Hot, her sensual romance.  An excerpt from Judy’s first novel, Hot Summer, is featured in Canadian Voices – An Anthology of Prose and Poetry by Emerging Canadian Writers.

Judy loves to learn, and has Master’s degrees in Spanish, Marketing, Literature, and Creative Writing and a BA in International Business/Foreign Languages.  She loves to travel, and has lived and worked in various countries including France, Puerto Rico, the USA, Canada and Jamaica.  She has also travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.  International cultures are always featured in her work.

Judy shares information on her books and learning resources at www.judypowell.com

HOT SUMMER | excerpt & buy link

Summer’s breath came in shallow gasps as she sat still, not feeling she could move even if she wanted to. She was like a bird frozen in the mesmerizing stare of a snake, knowing it was about to be eaten alive but not able to make a move to save its own life.

She moaned and closed her eyes as his lips stroked the sensitive skin then moved to the base of her throat where he licked softly and gently. She didn’t realize that she was still clutching the handkerchief tightly in her hand until she felt his strong fingers pry hers open to pull it away so that he could seduce her palm with his thumb.

“Relax, baby.” He moved his lips up her neck and to her ear.  “You’re so tense. Just relax.”

As he spoke he pushed her back gently into the plush pillows and began to nibble her ear lobe. He gave a lick just behind her ear and shock waves ran down her spine.

“Oh, God,” she breathed, “what are you doing to me?”

“What someone should have done to you a long time ago, Summer Jones,” he whispered.  “Teach you what it means to be a woman.”

He dipped his head and slid his lips back down her neck, over her collar bone and down to that oh, so sensitive place between the curves of her breasts. Here he paused and she held her breath, eyes shut tight, wondering if he was going to stop now. She prayed he wouldn’t.

She was not disappointed. An involuntary gasp escaped her lips as he slipped a warm tongue down her cleavage, sliding it between the orbs and teasing her soft flesh until her body screamed and she felt she would die from the sweet sensation. She grabbed the back of his head and pressed him into her, wanting more of the pleasure, more of the sweetness.

MORE INFO & BUY @ AMAZON

**GIVEAWAY**

Now that we ALL want more (is it hot in here? mmkay), I bet you guys are sooo ready for the scoop on the giveaway. This one ROCKS … and it’s easy! The first THREE readers who respond to the following question will walk away with an ebook copy of HOT SUMMER.

If you could take a romantic vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

You’re on it, right? LOL. Since I can’t play, I’ll just say I’d love to go to Italy but will settle for somewhere warm with at least six feet of water, because that’s how much depth we need to keep our boat from hitting bottom. (My husband has offered to take the boat to Italy, but clearly he’s never searched “rogue waves” on Youtube. Just sayin’). Okay, your turn!

Judy, thanks so much for being here. I’m glad HOT SUMMER is only 99 cents. I think I can pay for a copy by digging through the sofa cushions and, well, I dig that! :c)