Today’s special feature is an interview with Charmaine Ross about her contemporary romance novel, Take Me As I Am.
During her virtual book tour, will be awarding a copy of the e-book Take Me As I Am (international) to three randomly drawn winners. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
Welcome Charmaine. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My first foray into romance was as a fourteen-year-old where I fell hopelessly and eternally in love with my hero as only a teenager can. Instead of watching movies and staying up late, I would go to bed at eight thirty and continue my very romantic, very safe, love affair. Since then, I have fallen in love with many heroes, some less safe than what my teenage brain could possibly imagine. After earning a Fine Art’s Degree, a Diploma of Secondary Education and a Diploma of Marketing, I worked as a Graphic Designer in various advertising agencies as well as in-house marketing roles and am currently involved with digital marketing and everything web in my current position. But I always return to writing. Although I have travelled, I always return to my home town of Melbourne and live with my husband, two children and two cats in the ferny-greens of the Dandenongs. If I'm not working on my latest romance and falling in love with yet another hero, you’ll find me reading, watching and basically indulging in my addiction to any story on any media type I can get my fingers on.
Please share a little bit about your current release.
I’ve always been intrigued by the Burnham Beeches in Sassafras, in the Dandenongs in Melbourne and have wanted it to be restored to its former beauty. I didn’t have enough time, money or logistical prowess to do it myself, so I wrote about my heroine who was more than capable of undertaking a job like that. The gardens surrounding the Burnham Beeches are absolutely beautiful and would have been stunning in their nineteen thirties glory. I needed a lean, toned, muscular landscaper for that job and so my hero was born.
In this book, I wanted to turn the tables on the rich man / ordinary gal plot and so made my heroine a billionaire’s daughter, having been groomed for luxury and educated in the best schools money could buy, and my hero a sexy, hard-working, yet salt-of-the-earth man. My favourite scene is when my hero strips off his shirt in the summer sun, my heroine can’t ignore the sizzle in her blood or the voice in her head that tells her that what her body wants is a bad idea. A very bad idea.
Add in some sexy spice, some differences of opinion, undeniable physical attraction and you have ‘Take Me As I Am’.
What inspired you to write this book?
Living in such a beautiful area of Australia, which is quite romantic in its own rights, I like setting my stories where I can actually come and visit. Then I know how the scene looks, feels and smells and I can add those extra things into the characters perceptions. I think that makes for stronger scenes.
Excerpt from Take Me as I Am:
She rested the side of her head on the doorframe and yawned. Her eyes half closed as she watched him and he was caught in a lasting gaze that made his stomach clench. She was all soft and luscious and a sexy woman beneath that bristly exterior.
He hadn’t realised he’d been standing here, staring at her. ‘I want to talk to you about tomorrow’s plans. I need to make an early start. I want you to tell me if you don’t like something. I like to be up-front.’ He stepped towards her. One small step. So close he felt her body warmth reaching for him.
‘So do I.’ Her voice was so soft. So gentle it seemed as though it caressed him.
He shouldn’t be standing here so close to her because that would mean he had no control over what his body wanted and he couldn’t let that happen. The reasons. Remember them. His mind searched desperately. The first one. It was …
But when he breathed in, her scent was in the air. It was sweet and feminine and warm and set his blood on fire so that it raced through his veins screaming with an unquenchable need. He couldn’t move, was hypnotised beyond physical ability.
‘If there’s anything you think of I can do …’ Like take her in his arms and kiss her. Just a little kiss. A taste. The slightest of touches. Lips to lips.
‘I’ll tell you.’ Kate’s gaze dropped to his mouth and flicked back to his eyes. A quick movement, but one he didn’t miss.
Feminine perfume stirred in a slight breeze. He almost groaned out loud. He needed to keep space between them. She was off-limits. Beyond touch. He needed to keep himself in line. Reaching to the depths of his most steadfast will he stepped back.
I’m finishing editing a paranormal romance, Time After Time, as well as a contemporary romance, Bogan Chick.
I also am finishing three rom-com novellas which will be available very soon – Getting Hitched, Getting Preggas, Getting the Snip – about all of life’s little journeys.
In my head which is a very messy place, I have a paranormal trilogy, of which I’ll be writing book three for, and have a fantastic idea for another contemporary romance which I can’t wait to start!
I’ll probably think of more as time goes on. There just isn’t enough time!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not sure if I even do now. I suppose when I sit down to write. LOL
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a part time job, kids, husband, cat, house etc. I try and skim together enough time on the days I don’t work, but the weekend are still a challenge with the kids activities. My plan is to write full time at some stage.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I loooove going to my local café and writing there. I don’t even find the noise annoying. In fact, I think I write better there than at home.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to fill notebooks full of story ideas when I was a teenager, so I’ve always had writing in my blood. I wanted to be an artist and did end up doing a Fine Arts degree and worked for a couple of years selling my art. Then I began work as a graphic artist, then went into marketing. Now I work in digital marketing bringing everything together, design, writing and marketing.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you so much for having me here and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about me. As a thank you to your readers I’m offering two free fun and flirty novellas on my website when you subscribe to my very sporadic email. I also have free sample chapters on my website. It’s worth a look.
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!