Author Jaci Burton has written over forty-five novels and is contracted to write ten more. She writes in multiple genres, from erotic romance to romantic suspense to contemporary romance. She has won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award, and has been nominated for the award four times. She has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best and National Reader’s Choice Awards, and has won The Romance Studio’s CAPA Award four times. Her latest contemporary romance, Hope Burns, will be released on September 30th. Jaci has very generously offered a copy of Hope Burns to three lucky AAR readers. To be entered in this giveaway, just enter your name in the comments.
Dabney: Hi, Jaci. Thanks for agreeing to talk with AAR.
Jaci: Thank you for having me here!
Dabney: Hope Burns is the third book in your contemporary romance series set in Hope, Oklahoma. What called to you about writing about love in a small midwestern town?
Jaci: I live in a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, and I love living here. It’s rich with tradition and the nicest, warmest people you’d ever want to meet. Having lived in large cities before—and written my fair share of books that take place in major metropolitan areas as well, there was something about a small town environment that called to me. The way the characters interact in such a close environment interested me. Plus, I wanted to create a series around a town instead of around specific characters, and so Hope was born.
Jaci: Each type of series has its own joy in the way of research. Guns and action are fun to play with in the way of research. Each of the Wild Riders story had an element of suspense, undercover work, the framework of military or law enforcement involvement, and that kind of detail always fascinates me. And, of course there’s the motorcycles, and because my husband and I ride, writing the Wild Riders series was always so much fun. And speaking of the Wild Riders series, they’re being reissued in October with hot, sexy new covers. I’m so excited to bring new life to this series.
As far as the Play by Play series, I’m a big fan of so many different sports, which makes my love for the Play by Play series never ending. I watch a lot of sports, so that’s research in and of itself. I also do more in depth research for every sport I’m writing. I think I learn something new about each sport every time I write a Play by Play book.
Dabney: Your Play by Play series is unusual in that, unlike many sports romance series, it doesn’t focus on just one team or sport? Do you have a favorite sport and team?
Jaci: I’m a big fan of both college and pro football, so I’d have to say football will always be my number one sport. But I also grew up in St. Louis, and St. Louis is a big baseball city. I will always be a fan of Cardinals baseball, so baseball runs a very close second in terms of favorite sport. I also love hockey and auto racing as well. And then there’s basketball and soccer and as you can see, I like a lot of sports.
Dabney: Tell me about Hope. I envision a town of 25,000 or so with a slightly struggling economy. Do I have it right?
Jaci: The population is close, but the economy is recovering quite well in Hope. My fictional town of Hope is nestled very close to the city of Tulsa, and the economy is doing well. People are gainfully employed and either connected to the town or working close by in Tulsa. Life is good in Hope.
Dabney: The heroine of Hope Burns, Molly, left town at age 18 and, since then, has rarely come home (she’s now 30), and is struggling to find her happiness. What was your inspiration for her?
Jaci: When I wrote Hope Flames, the first full length novel in the Hope series, Molly’s sister Emma was the heroine of Hope Flames and connected to Molly only via the occasional telephone call and whenever Emma could find time to travel and visit. Molly is independent and strong, yet there was a mystery to Molly that I wanted to uncover. I wanted to know why she decided to stay away from Hope, what would keep someone apart from family, friends, and home. It was a fun puzzle for me and I knew when I introduced her in the first book that I needed to write her story. There’s something about a heroine with a painful past that makes her so fascinating to write. She just begs for a happily ever after.
Dabney: I kept track of the time passing in Hope Burns by the seasons. The hero, Carter, adores Halloween. What’s your favorite season?
Jaci: I absolutely love Christmas. It’s my favorite season of the year. All the awesome holiday movies, the music, the shopping and, not to mention, the food. It can be a very stressful time of year, but also the best time of year. It’s a hopeful, renewing season.
Dabney: The next book in the Hope series is Bash’s and Chelsea’s story. Will there be another Hope book after that?
Jaci: Yes. I currently have six books in total contracted so far in the Hope series. With many more in mind, so I’m hoping the series continues beyond these six. Hope has a lot of stories to tell.
Dabney: Thanks for talking to us.
Jaci: Thank you so much for the interview!
Jaci Burton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Play by Play and Hope series. She’s a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you’ll find in all of her books. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and her dogs. Find out more about Jaci and her books at jaciburton.com, Facebook.com/AuthorJaciBurton, and Twitter.com/jaciburton.