This week, the Femmes are happy to celebrate the release of our very own RoseAnn DeFranco’s debut novel, RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS. It’s a fun read that will have you laughing out loud. It’s available now as a Kindle exclusive from The Wild Rose Press. It will be available world-wide January 3, 2014.
RD: Thank you for interviewing me, Maria. It was fun answering your questions and sharing more about my book. Rafe and Emma are true soul mates, having forged a special friendship in childhood on the beach over summer vacations in his home town. That friendship bloomed into love in their teens which they kept on simmer for a long time. There is a class distinction, something Rafe feels more strongly than Emma. Her family is dripping in money and he comes from a solid working class family. They are stubborn and will never be happy until they learn to set aside pride.
VF: What memories do you have of the actual NJ shore town that inspired you to create the fictional town of Audubon Springs?
RD: I’m a NJ shore transplant, but my husband is a Jersey Boy. Once we married and settled into our home, we started frequenting the beach at Spring Lake in the exact same spot pretty regularly. I noticed several of the same families with each visit and watched their children grow older. Over time people came to think we lived in there as well. Between that and the town itself, with a strip of shops and the pretty lake, the idea to fictionalize the town was born. I love walking the boardwalk to look at the gorgeous homes. Emma and Rafe’s house is a combination of a few of those homes.
VF: Is the fictional book Emma wrote, Anderria Falls, based on a book you read as a child?
RD: No. It is a purely fictionalize story of Emma’s creation based on the fictional town of Audubon Springs. While crafting that part of the book, I thought to make it something my daughter might like to read one day. After I finished the Brothers of Audubon Springs series, I sat down to write Emma’s books series. It turned out much differently, but blossomed into the start of a Young Adult series my daughter loves.
VF: There’s a huge food fight scene between Rafe and Emma. Why a food fight? Have you ever been in a food fight?
RD: Well, the fact is, Rafe and Emma NEEDED a fight and the food was there! Because Emma makes a point of putting on this fake macrobiotic diet at the start of the book, food in the house becomes an issue. The scene flew onto the page quite naturally, as did the growing heat and emotions. I’ve been involved in water fights where food was involved.
VF: Family is an important factor in RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS. Having been raised in an Italian family, what similarities are there between your family and the Iulianos?
RD: I think the main similarity between my family and the Iulianos, is the brothers, mother, and the general close relationship within the family unit that extends beyond to cousins, aunts and uncles. They are all over each other’s business in a very funny and loving way.
RD: I could eat Eggplant Parmesan every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I love making my mother’s sauce recipe. Standing over the pot, I can literally feel my mother, grandmother and all the previous generations of women in the kitchen with me.
VF: If you could take a day off from work, where would you go and who would you bring?
RD: Dare I say The Violet Femmes to an undisclosed location for a writing retreat?
VF: In RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS, we meet Rafe’s brothers, Tony and Vince, and his cousin Mia. What can we expect from these fun characters in the next books in The Brothers of Audubon Springs series?
RD: When I finished Return to Audubon Springs, I was sad it was time to leave the town and move on to a new project, until I realized I didn’t have to! Tony’s story is next. You met his heroine, Annie, the bookstore owner. Secondhand Romance is a true opposites-can’t-stand-each-other-but-attract story. I just got the cover for it and it is hawt! Following that, Vince’s book, The Right Chord is next. That confuses everyone because he is married and has a child in Return to Audubon Springs, but his is a Single Dad/Reunion story. Currently I’m writing a holiday Novella for Mia. She has a prevalent role in the next two books and has been pushed aside for too long. I feel like I owe her!
Here’s an excerpt from RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS:
“This is your fault!” Emma shouted.
“My fault?” Rafe blinked through the thick coat of flour. “You’re the one who started this.”
“Yeah, you—Miss Macrobiotic Princess!” They used the barstools for support, and pulled themselves up from the slippery floor. “You’re immovable just like your mother.”
“And you’ve got about as much depth as a toenail. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I was ever with you.”
With a predatory look in his eyes and gait, Rafe advanced. In two long strides he pinned her to the counter, his hands grasping her hips. “Don’t!” His voice, low and dangerous, and his near proximity overwhelmed, charging her body with a jolt of electricity rendering breathing impossible. His gaze locked on hers for an eternity, then without warning, he dipped his head and licked lavishly at the syrup on her chest and neck.
Need and heat consumed her at his touch, fraying what was left of her nerves. She dropped her head back, shivered, and her knees buckled. He held her steady, fully pinned against the counter and continued to feast on her neck. Then with a shake as if waking from a dream, he stepped away, taking his heat with him.
Emma swayed and gripped the counter. Goose bumps rose on her flesh at the storm brewing in his eyes.
“Say or do anything you want to push me out of this house, but don’t ever say you don’t remember.”
RoseAnn has kindly offered a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter. So tell us, what do you call the red stuff you pour over pasta? Sauce or gravy?
Many thanks to RoseAnn for joining us this week! You can visit more with RoseAnn here with The Violet Femmes and also at http://radefranco.com. RETURN TO AUDBON SPRINGS can be purchased from Amazon until its world-wide release date January 3, 2014.