In February 2012, I was honored to be chosen as the Featured Author of the Month on a little website called The Polka Dot Banner. The owner of the site, Dr. Jane Nixon White, interviewed me and we chatted about romance, hockey, and Nora Roberts. Jane has since moved on to pursue other interests and The Polka Dot Banner is no longer, but I saved the interview for you to read because I had so much fun doing it and it's nice to take a look back at when I was just starting out in my writing career. Enjoy!
Rachelle Vaughn's Passion? Romance!
Perfect for February and red-hot lovers of romance, we have this month's PDB Featured Author, Rachelle Vaughn. Take a few minutes to step into Rachelle's world of hockey, romance, and her thoughts on Nora Roberts. 1. Welcome, Rachelle Vaughn! Congratulations for becoming the Polka Dot Banner's Featured Author of the Month! Please share with us about your romance novel, Home Ice. Thank you so much, Jane! Home Ice is a sweet hockey-themed romance novel about a regular girl whose life collides with a star hockey player’s. It’s a modern day fairytale with a twist because in this case, Cinderella can’t quite give in to the idea of Prince Charming coming in and rescuing her from all of her problems. 2. How did a California girl like you become such an avid fan of ice hockey? Hockey first attracted me because it is such a fast-paced game. And once I actually attended a game in person and saw how thrilling it is, I was hooked! 3. I noticed in your blog profile that among your favorite books is "anything by Nora Roberts." As she is one of my favorites as well (I have copies of all her books, some autographed), let me ask you what makes Nora special to you? Ah, yes. Nora Roberts, the Wayne Gretzky of the writing world! Nora is inspirational not only from her impressive body of work, but because of her compelling characters and amazing attention to detail. The descriptiveness in her novels puts the reader right there with the characters. No matter the subject, Nora writes about it as if she’s lived and breathed it herself. 4. You participate with Authorgraph. Please explain what it is and how it works, for those readers who are new to the concept. Authorgraph lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans. With so many books being read electronically, it’s a great way to connect with readers. 5. Many writers take a while to settle on a particular genre (some of us never do!), but you've known since you were ten or twelve that you wanted to be a romance novelist. What is it about romance writing that has satisfied your passion for writing this long? (Please pardon the pun!) I think most young girls secretly dream that their prince will someday ride in and sweep them off their feet. In the romance genre, I love how you can take two people from different or similar worlds, smash them together and see what happens. The possibilities for love are endless. 6. Many romance novels tend to have an obstacle that keeps the lovers apart. How do you know when you've let the tension build enough, that it's time to resolve the issue and let the pair get together? (It must be a difficult balance to lead the readers on, yet not lose them to frustration or even anger, asking, "How can he/she/they be so stupid?") Sometimes I wish I could just let them be together from the beginning, but then there wouldn’t be much of a story! Only when the character has resolved or made peace with their own issues can they really be freed to give in to love and devote themselves to another person. Unfortunately not everyone is smart (and lucky!) in love. 7. Do you have any advice to share with authors who've never written romance, but are considering it? It may sound cliché, but write what’s in your heart. If you really believe in something, whether it be a concept, subject or character, put your whole heart and soul into it. Sure, you might feel vulnerable and a bit exposed, but you can go to sleep at night knowing you gave it your all no matter what anyone else says about it.
For my next hockey book, I've decided to do something a little bit different. Here's a sneak peek at the cover...
I'll be sending out a newsletter tomorrow that will explain my inspiration for the new book, Hockey Gods, so make sure you're signed up! Now, I'm getting back to work on the next Razors Ice book...
We went to the wildlife refuge a few weeks ago and I
haven’t had time to upload this post to my blog until now—which is actually a good thing
because it means I’ve been busy writing!
Well, here are the details along with some photos from our
There is something about the refuge that makes my soul extra
happy. Every time I step out onto the trail I can feel a weight being lifted
from my shoulders. As you walk down the path, tall reeds brush your arms, marsh
grass tickles your ankles, and colorful dragonflies dart around your feet.
Every time we go, we see something different. One time we
were fortunate to spot a bunch of river otters sunning themselves on the access
road and once we even saw an American Avocet using its curved bill to search for
insects. It’s all about timing because a bird can take one step and be camouflaged
by the reeds never to be seen again.
This time, we were delighted to see some elegant Northern
Pintails, a beautiful White-faced Ibis hidden among a flock of Greater
White-fronted Geese, and a Northern Harrier scanning for prey on the top branch
of a tree.
Mere hours after we left to head back home, a prescribed
burn escaped a control line and burned 400 acres of the refuge and even part of
the entrance sign. I can’t tell you how glad I was that we missed it. Seeing my
sanctuary up in flames would have been quite unnerving to say the least.
A week later we returned to see the damage and it was even
worse than I had imagined. The smell of burnt grass was overpowering and
blackness snaked its way into part of the auto tour.
But it didn’t break the spirits of the birds! Even the
burned areas didn’t deter a flock of Killdeer as they rummaged around the area.
We drove up to the Colusa refuge and saw a Great Blue Heron fishing in
the marsh, several Great Egrets surrounded by a group of noisy blackbirds, and
a colony of Black-Crowned Night-Herons nestled in the trees on the riverbank. Nature’s perseverance and quest for survival is most
inspiring. Inspiring enough for me to write a book (Wild Ice) about it!
I look forward to returning in a few weeks after the rain has
had a chance to heal the charred earth and wash away the ashes. In case you’re in the area and want to experience its magic
for yourself, the site for the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge is HERE and they even have a Facebook page.
When you take your own venture out into the great outdoors let me know what you
When I was growing up, my family went to my great-grandparent's house every Sunday for lunch. On the coffee table were two things: a candy dish full of See's candy and the Sunday newspaper. I would dig through the inky pages for the Comics section and discover what Garfield and The Family Circus were up to that week.
My great-grandparents are long gone and hardly anyone reads the newspaper in print anymore, but I will always have those wonderful memories to cherish.
And yes, I still read the funnies at GoComics.com every single day, not just on Sundays.
This summer I've been working on something that’s very different from anything else I’ve ever
written. I’m really excited by the progress I’m making and I’d love more than
anything to fill you in on the details, but it’s still much too soon. Just know this:
you will be pleasantly (I hope!) surprised.
I am still working on the next
Razor’s Ice novel, too, so don’t despair. The next book in the series will be
ready for release in 2015. I’ll be announcing the title in the coming months,
so stay tuned for that and many other exciting announcements.
And thank you so
much for making the release of HOT ICE such a success! Because of you, my
wonderful readers, I am able to keep writing more books.
As cooler weather
approaches (crosses fingers) and the triple digit temperatures start to
disappear (crosses toes), I’ll be able to hunker down in my writing cave and
pump out some more for you to read.
"When he reached for me, I let him put his arms
around me. Although I knew I should pull away, distance myself, I couldn’t for
the life of me let go. I needed someone to hold me, I needed an anchor. I
needed Jared to hold me together with his arms so I wouldn’t fall apart." ~excerpt from Mama's Ink
A reader from Australia just informed me that HOT ICE has hit the #1 spot
Who knew there were hockey fans down under!
Wow, I don't even know what to say! Thank you so much to all of my readers all around the globe for making it possible for me to live my dream every single day. Without you this wouldn't be possible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
In celebration of my steamy new book, Hot Ice, I’ve decided to invite the
experts of sexy hockey players to be this month’s guests on my blog. With over 9,000 followers and counting on Pinterest and Twitter combined, Hockey Hunks has created a
sensation in the online hockey world.
RV: Have you discovered anything interesting after starting
HH: That hockey fans are just as passionate about the teams
they don’t like as they are about the
ones they’re loyal to.
RV: Do you have a favorite team?
HH: We’ll never tell! For the sake of Hockey Hunks, we try to
treat (and tweet!) all teams equally. Someone commented that we retweet Tyler
Seguin a lot but in our defense, he’s too cute for words.
RV: Agreed! So, what made you decide to start Hockey Hunks?
HH: We wanted to create a place where hockey fans could come
together and agree on one thing: hockey players look great without a shirt on.
To our surprise, no one had thought of it yet! We will tell you this: We aren’t
puck bunnies and just because we can appreciate a shirtless photo of (insert
the name of your favorite player here) doesn’t mean we can’t also appreciate
and respect the amazing sport of hockey.
RV: You even had a Hunt for the Hockey Hunk on Twitter once. Tell
us about it.
HH: Yes! We found a photo of a shirtless hunk on Pinterest.
Because we don’t like to pin pics without putting the player’s name in the
description, we decided to try and track down the player. The photo was too
good to pass up and with the help of our friends on Pinterest and Twitter we
were able to narrow down the search. Someone thought it was Eddie Lack so we
tweeted him and asked him. He actually tweeted us back (gasp!) and told us it
was really Kevin Connauton. That just goes to show you how nice hockey players are.
I hope you enjoy HOT ICE, the next installment in the RAZORS ICE series. After Wild Ice and Mama's Ink, I figured it was time to take a little break from tearjerkers and serious
subject matter and “sweet” romances. HOT ICE is a steamy, light read you can
enjoy while you’re working on your tan at the beach or in your own backyard.
Left winger Jace McQuaid has been nursing bitterness toward his ex-wife who cleaned out his bank account and left him skeptical of love and women in general. Then he meets Violet James, a sultry massage therapist, hired to help rehabilitate him and get him off the injured reserve list.
As Violet massages him back to health and thaws the block of ice around his heart, Jace rethinks his stance on relationships. What Jace doesn't know is that Violet is harboring a secret that just might destroy everything they've built together.
Early this summer I took some time to work on a new book, binge-watch a few TV shows, and play Mario Kart with my husband (the only game I can beat him at!! Me, competitive? Nah.). And then I moved.
After several years in the same house, it's sort of bittersweet to pack up your belongings and move them somewhere new. After the art is taken off the walls and the nick-nacks packed away in bubble wrap, what used to feel like home is now an empty shell. Just a roof, bare walls and a lot more carpet now that the furniture is gone.
As a creature of habit, it's a bit daunting to uproot everything and start fresh. But it's also an exciting adventure, even if it is only across town. The new place will have different creaks and sounds and quirks and I'll soon be able to find my way around in the dark as I shuffle to the bathroom in the middle of the night. New birds will frequent my yard and the sun will cast its light on different walls in the morning.
I realize now more than ever that with a few personal touches you can literally make any place feel like home. Like I said about Home Ice: Home isn't always an address.
I know that as long as I keep people around me who love and support me, I'll always have somewhere to call home. Whether it be firmly in reality or between the pages.
At least I get to bring my characters to the new house with me. Because when I set up my new office and give them free reign of my brain again, I'm sure they'll have a lot to say after this long summer hiatus.
I'm going off the grid for a while to put the finishing touches on the next book in the Razors Ice series. (I have some other exciting projects in the works, too, but I'll tell you more about those a little later!) Be sure to sign up for my newsletter here and be the first to know about new releases and other special goodies. Talk to you soon! xoxo RV
first met Ethan and Lana in WATCH ME when they infused some spice into an
average workday at the mall. Then in JINGLE ME you went along for the ride as
they attempted to survive the chaos of the holidays and ended up earning themselves
a spot on Santa’s naughty list. Now in TEASE ME the sexy couple is back for
another wicked game that will leave you begging for more!