Book Nerd Interview
Publisher: Forge Books (January 10, 2017)
"Fast-paced, clever and sexy!" -- LAUREN BLAKELY New York Times bestselling author
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Actually, when I was younger I dreamed of being an actress. But when you spend enough time making up dialogue in your head - at some point you realize you’re writing. Accidentally.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
My favorite book of all time is A Tale of Two Cities. I think, like most people, I was forced to read it in high school and I hated it. But, thankfully, I reread it as an adult and realized how amazing it is. All that history and a great love story? It’s perfection. My favorite non-romance novel is probably Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It’s both elegantly simple and marvelously complex. Her creature is my favorite sympathetic villain.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
I read an article by Barbara Kingsolver where she said (I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t ever write with someone looking over your shoulder.” What she meant was that you need to write what the story demands and not worry about whether you would be embarrassed if your mom and dad read the book. That advice kept me from watering my novel down to a PG-13 rating just because I knew my mother was going to read it.
In your book; I Love You Subject to the Following Terms and Conditions, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
It is essentially a romantic comedy with a twist. It’s set in a world where all relationships are based on 7-year contracts and there is no marriage (but also no divorce). So, instead of divorces, you’ve got breaches of contract. And, at the end of seven years, the couple decides whether to continue or walk away. But more than that, it’s about Kate and the beautiful men who complicate her life as a newbie lawyer.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I Love You… is the first in a trilogy. Book 2 is in editing and I’m currently working on the last book in the trilogy. I have also started a book in a different series (so that when I have writer’s block on one, I can switch to something completely different!) that is about vampire lawyers! That’s an oversimplification. Picture John Grisham meets Sookie Stackhouse. Can you imagine the laws that would need to be created if there were actual vampires in our society?
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Ooh. I think Mags needs to meet Ranger from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series! I have always been Team Ranger and Stephanie keeps picking stupid Joe! (Yeah, yeah. Joe is hot and sexy, too. I know. But Ranger is being WASTED! Do you hear me, Janet?) I think Mags could definitely hold her own with Ranger.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Kate?
That I wanted her to be real and make mistakes. I’ve had suggestions to take out some of her less-than-stellar decisions and I couldn’t do it. I wanted her to give in to impulses and regret them later. Because I think more women can relate to some poor-decision making now and then.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
I would say read, read, read. Across many genres and eras. I love Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, but I also adore Janet Evanovich and Charlaine Harris. I’ve read horror and sci-fi, Native American literature and young adult. I think that only by reading as many varying voices as possible does your own unique voice begin to emerge.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I’ve never had “summer” jobs, per se. Just one job after another since I was 16. The most memorable was probably the year I spent working in Park City, Utah, at a little clothing boutique. It was a very fun place to be during the Sundance Film Festival when the town was overrun with movie stars!
Who was your first boyfriend?
Does the boy in first grade who kissed his fingertip and then touched it to the tip of my nose count? Because his name was Paul. That was the most romantic moment in the first six years of my life. Sigh.
Tell me about your first kiss
Tell me about your first kiss
Okay, aside from the mind-blowing fingertip-to-nose kiss in first grade, my first real kiss was when I was 14. And it lasted for about an hour (like all really good first kisses should).
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
I think telling someone you love them. It’s a little like standing on a high dive and looking at the pool. It could either be glorious or a complete belly-flop and you don’t get to find out unless you muster up the cojones step off the platform.
When was the last time you cried?
When I watched the trailer for the movie A Dog’s Purpose. Good lord! Are they kidding? No way I’ll be watching that movie in public.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The 50’s, without a doubt. I blame my mother. I have seen Gidget and Where the Boys Are way too many times.
What is your greatest adventure?
Life. Some days it’s a rollercoaster, some days the bottom drops out, and other days it’s a merry-go-round. And you never get to choose which one.
Top Ten List - 10 characteristics of a great friend
1. Slightly inappropriate sense of humor
2. Hates your exes like they were her own
3. Tells you when you’re wrong
4. Answers honestly when you ask if your butt looks big
5. Lets go of the little things
6. Carries a wine bottle opener in her purse
7. Never lets you cry alone
8. Always asks before tagging you in Facebook photos
9. Can always get you from tears to laughter in under 10 minutes
10. Is always there for heartbreaks, victories, and bar results (which have the potential to be either)
Ten quotes from I Love You Subject to the Following Terms and Conditions
1. And I suddenly decided I needed law school. No one needs law school, by the way.
2. “Wine? Or is this more of a whiskey situation?”
3. I drove to my parents slowly, not eager to get there. Not really eager to be anywhere. So I hit the Jack in the Box drive-through because when you’ve just had amazing yet regrettable sex with the former love of your life, you deserve a friggin’ milkshake, dammit.
4. “Shh,” I said, doing a sloppy wave in front of my lips with my forefinger, librarian style. “Sorry. I’m fine. I just need away from the crowd. Okay? I’ll call you tomorrow.” I believe this is what they meant when they coined the term “hot mess.”
5. Eventually, a black Audi with tinted windows rolled to a stop in front of me. Either I was about to have a Pretty Woman moment where I was going to be mistaken for a hooker, or it was Adam.
6. They were like two big-game hunters, squaring off for a pissing contest. My money, as usual, was on Logek. I’m sure to her, being single and all, taking down a contract killer would be like downing a rhino or something. I looked over at Adam, taking in his cool, distant look as he observed their banter. Taking down Adam would be like downing a friggin’ unicorn.
7. But it will feel so good, Kate – don’t stop him. (That was the little devil on my shoulder talking. She’s kind of a slut.) I waited. Apparently the angel on my other shoulder was on sabbatical. Bitch.
8. “His mannerisms are just kind of strange. And he stares,” I said, before taking a sip from my glass.
“You probably encounter a lot of men with that problem,” Adam said.
I laughed. “It’s not in a flirty way,” I said. “More like he’s thinking about eating my liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
9. Once I was back in the office, I stopped by Mag’s cubicle and rested my arms on the top of one of the walls of her cubby. She was in red today. Red-red. Scarlett Letter red. Lipstick, sweater, four-inch heels. Red. God, I envied her…balls.
10. And for tonight’s entertainment…we have Kate drooling over her unattainable man crush who is determined to constantly dangle himself in front of her nose. Cruel.
In a world where marriage doesn’t exist—only seven-year contracts—you don’t marry, you sign. You don’t divorce, you breach. And sometimes, you just expire.
Kate is struggling to find her footing. She gave up a career she hated to pursue the law, and now she’s buried in debt and unemployed. At least she’s signed to an amazing guy—hot, sweet, and committed.
Enter the contract killer, the man who pursues only signed women. No commitment, no hassle, all the fun. But Kate has enough fun on her plate… until her partner doesn’t re-up their contract.
After an epic but well-deserved meltdown, Kate gets practical. She accepts a job with her uncle’s law firm, practicing signing law—the one type of law she swore she’d never do. And the contract killer? Now that Kate is single, she’s no longer his type, but he still wants to be friends. Yeah, that’ll work. Kate may be heartbroken, but she’s not impervious to this sexy, smart, and complex man. But hey, it looks like he may not be impervious to her either—signed or not.
Hilariously relatable, with biting wit and charm, The Contract Killers is 27 Dresses meets Bridget Jones’s Diary for the millennial set.
By Erin Lyon
Forge Books, 2017
“Have you ever been in love?” Wow. Totally unfiltered.
He gave me a long look and then looked back out the front window and I didn’t think he would answer.
“No. I don’t think so. I’ve cared about women, been very fond of them, but nothing that ever changed my mind about the whole paradigm.”
“And people called you an ice goddess.”
I laughed and closed my eyes, settling my head back against the rest. “Apparently I don’t keep my soft side as well hidden as I thought.”
I heard him laugh again and then I must have dozed off. I woke up when he opened my door. He pulled me out by the hand and I realized we were in an empty underground parking garage. We walked toward the elevators and I heard his car chirp as he hit the alarm button. He kept hold of my hand as we got into the elevator like he was worried I’d fall flat on my face without the assistance. I wasn’t going to correct him.
He grasped my hand again when we got out on the eleventh floor. As we walked down the quiet hallway, I looked toward the huge picture window at the end of the hall that looked over the lights of downtown. Quite a view and this was just the hallway. We stopped in front of a door bearing the number
That seems appropriate somehow.
He unlocked the door and turned on the lights. I followed him as he walked through the living room, flipping on more lights.
“Holy cow,” I said, standing in front of the bay window that covered most of the living room wall. You could see the river bridge, perfectly illuminated against the black night sky and you could even see the lights of the ferryboats passing slowly under the bridge. “That’s what I call a view.”
“Yeah. It’s very pretty. It’s why I fell in love with the place.” I turned around and he was looking at me. Uh-oh. Butterflies. Settle down, Kate. I don’t think any man has ever been clearer about not being interested.
“That’s quite a dress.”
Oh, my. “Thank you.”
“Really. You look beautiful.”
“So why don’t you sound like you believe it?”
I shrugged. “Been kicked while I’m down, I guess.”
“How about some shorts and a T- shirt?”
He emerged from his room and handed me some folded up clothes and pointed to the bathroom. I closed the door behind me and got a look at myself in the mirror. Wow. I really had a lot of makeup on. Why does it look like more than when I left Logek’s tonight? Overall, though, I was holding up nicely. I slipped out of my dress and tossed on the shirt he gave me. I put on the drawstring shorts and cinched them as tight as they’d go— enough that they’d stay up.
I laughed at my reflection. Kate Shaw— seductress. Adam’s T- shirt was faded gray with the Italian flag on it and the shorts were black and baggy and hit just above the knee.
Yeah. I was a bombshell.
I walked back into the living room and carefully draped my dress over the recliner nearest the door. He turned from looking out the window and faced me, grinning.
“I know, I know. I’m hot in everything I wear.”
“Exactly what I was thinking,” he said with a chuckle.
“Want anything to drink?”
“I think I’ve got that.”
He’d changed, too. He was in long basketball shorts and a tank top. His arms were big and defined and his shoulders looked even broader out of a shirt. He must look amazing shirtless. Down, girl.
Friends with Adam. In love with Jonathan. You wouldn’t think these simple concepts would be easy to forget.
He came back out and handed me a glass of ice water and he had a beer in his other hand. He sat down on his big leather sofa and patted the seat next to him. I sat down and he tossed a coaster on the coffee table in front of me for my glass.
He nodded and turned on the TV and flipped through the channels. This is kind of surreal. I’m in Adam’s apartment.
Wearing Adam’s clothes. Sitting next to Adam on the couch like we’re just two buddies having some downtime. Which I guess we were. But I was buzzed and lonely and I couldn’t help thinking about what it would be like for him to kiss me.
He looked over at me then. Uh-oh. Busted.
“Drink your water, Kate.”
Yeah. Water is good. He flipped through the channels and finally settled on some stand-up comedian on Comedy Central.
The guy was pretty funny and soon I was into the show, laughing, and not thinking about attacking Adam. Which probably wouldn’t have gone over so well.
He leaned back onto the arm of the couch and held his arms open to me. Seriously? Dude. This “friends” thing has some serious perks. I crawled up next to him and lay down on his chest and he wrapped his arms around me. So weird.
He’s awfully cuddly for someone thinking purely platonically. But once there, there was nothing more. No hand brushing dangerously close to any forbidden zones, no awkward shifting to make it feel inappropriate. He just seemed content.
“You said you have no female friends, right?”
“I’m guessing you don’t do this with your guy friends.”
He laughed and it reverberated through me. “We’re trying to cut back.”
“And I’m also going to guess, since you’ve never had a girlfriend, relationship- wise, you’ve never done much cuddling?”
“Careful, buddy. If you fall for me, we have to stop being friends, remember?”
“Right. Thanks for reminding me. Have much of a problem with that?”
“Guys accidentally falling in love with me?”
“You’d be surprised,” I said, smiling against his chest.
And it was sort of true. Logek was gorgeous and it has always seemed she could get any guy she wanted. I’m more of an acquired taste— most men either think I’m absolutely beautiful or only mildly attractive, but not much in- between. And I certainly never got every guy I wanted— not by a long shot. But there were ones that I just hit a certain way, and then I was like catnip. Especially the ones that started out thinking they were just trying to get in my pants. I told them they’d fall for me and it was like a self- fulfilling prophecy. And it was the ones that said it would never happen that fell the hardest. Once I had a guy, I never lost him. But I guess Jonathan is breaking my twenty- year streak on that one.
“Is that right? And you think I’m at risk of accidentally falling for you?” he asked.
I crossed my hands on his chest and rested my chin on them so that I could see him. He was looking down at me, dark brows lowered. In the low light, his eyes were a deeper green and I was close enough to see little flecks of blue and gold in them. It was weird. It was like I could see right through him. I don’t know why, but some people, on rare occasions, I just get. Like Mozart with the piano. And Adam—I just got him. The real Adam was buried so deep, so untouchable, it would be a miracle to ever break through that wall.
I shook my head a little, without lifting my chin. “No. I don’t think you are at risk.”
He narrowed his eyes, his curiosity piqued. “And why is that?”
“Because you keep the real you tucked so far away, no one will ever really get close.”
He frowned but didn’t say anything.
“You’re so pretty that everything has always come so easy to you, but it’s also made you devalue things. And people have always proven you right. They were so delighted with the package that they never cared what was underneath. So you felt like if you were happy or sad deep down, nobody noticed, nobody cared. So you have a permanent game face. And every time someone reinforced this belief, you slipped further away.”
His expression didn’t change, but his lips pursed.
“Or I could just be drunk and talking shit.”
The corner of his mouth quirked up a bit at that. But I’d hit home. Found a crack in the facade.
“Shut up, Kate,” he said gently and pushed my head back down so that my cheek was against his chest again. He settled his arms around me and we both refocused on the television.
And now, The Giveaways.
January 9th Monday JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW & VLOG POST
January 10th Tuesday Bookish Things & More REVIEW & TENS LIST
January 11th Wednesday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & FAVORITE BOOKS
January 12th Thursday Book Queen Reviews REVIEW & EXCERPT
January 13th Friday TTC Books and More REVIEW & EXCERPT
January 14th Saturday Captivated Reading REVIEW & DREAM CAST
January 15th Sunday Lisa Loves Literature REVIEW
January 15th Sunday BookHounds GUEST POST
January 16th Monday Books à la Mode REVIEW
January 16th Monday BookStopCorner REVIEW & INTERVIEW
January 17th Tuesday Rose's Book Corner REVIEW & MUSIC PLAYLIST
January 18th Wednesday A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & RANDOM THINGS
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