Chat and Giveaway from RoseAnn DeFranco

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.

ReturntoAudubonSprings_8071_750 VF: Congratulations, RoseAnn, on the release of your first novel, RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS. I enjoyed the characters and their story. What are 3 of the most important qualities of Rafe and Emma?

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.

VF: What’s your favorite Italian dish to eat? To make?RoseAnn DeFranco

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 RETURN TO AUDBON SPRINGS can be purchased from Amazon until its world-wide release date January 3, 2014.

Leave a comment


  1. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  October 7, 2013

    Hi Maria! Thank you for interviewing me today and for your enthusiasm over the Pre-Release of Return to Audubon Springs. Your questions were fun and I loved answering them. I know in this region, it’s sauce or gravy. Where I come from in upstate NY, it is the Italian pronunciation of sauce. My husband’s family calls it gravy. The first few times he mentioned it, I thought it was in an episode of the twilight zone!

    • Hi RoseAnn. Thank YOU for having a pre-release date that coincided with my blog post! Only gravy goes on the pasta in my house. I love asking that question, because it always generates a lot of conversation. Loved RtoAS. Especially the food fight scene.

  2. Hi RoseAnn,
    I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and it’s funny for me to think back to how many of my friends said sauce and how many said gravy. I wonder if it has to do with what part of Italy someone is from. I am not Italian and I say sauce. Would love to get a copy of your family’s sauce recipe if you are willing to share it. Best of luck with RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS. Looking forward to reading it.

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      My research tells me it is strictly a regional thing. I have a VERY Italian friend from South Philly, grandparents right off the boat, still visits family in Italy all the time, etc. They call it sauce. But I feel like Maria’s family is South Jersey and they call it gravy, my husband’s family is North Jersey, so maybe it’s just a Jersey thing?

      Thanks for your well wishes!

  3. Hello Maria,

    And Congratulations Roseann! Your book sounds amazing. I’m sure based on the Jersey shore theme many would love reading RTAS. You know once I read it I will be non stop chatter.
    I found it interesting both VF Maria and Roseann wrote about their Italian heritage. A personal level I’m not sure I’d risk on my debut. I admire both of you for it.
    Good luck Roseann. I hope sales soar for you.

  4. Jenna Blue

     /  October 7, 2013

    RoseAnn, as you know, I just loved RTAS! It was fab, and this excerpt is perfect: exactly what I mean when I say I love your dialogue. Those heroines crack me up! And yes, I’d say you “owe” Mia her story! I, for one, can’t wait for it!

    Readers, I’ve been lucky enough to read early drafts of the next two books in the Audubon series, and can tell you, you’ll love them!

    Meanwhile, non-Italian that I am, it was jarred during my upbringing and actually called “spaghetti sauce.” Despite being Irish, Polish, and German, my Jersey Boy husband makes a mean “sauce” due to some strong Italian influence his dad had. I do a fine job, myself nowadays, btw!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Jenna, you’re a league of nations, just like my mother in law. She also learned to cook the Italian specialty dishes.

      Thank you so much for the nod on the next two books!

  5. Diana Quincy

     /  October 7, 2013

    Congratulations on the new release! I grabbed RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS as soon as it was available on Amazon and finished it very quickly. The book is warm, funny, romantic and touching. I truly enjoyed it and I’m sure everyone else will as well!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Thank you, Diana! We’re so lucky to all love one another’s work. I did the same with SEDUCING CHARLOTTE and TEMPTING BELLA. Also, I’d like to add I LOVE the teaser for COMPROMISING WILLA at the end of TB. I’m sure it will not disappoint!

  6. Love this book RoseAnn! Rafe and Emme’s relationship sizzles on the page!! Congrats on its release!!!

  7. Your book sounds lovely, RoseAnn. This interview definitely made me want to buy it – and not just for the good fight! I’m English – for us, gravy is what we put over our roast beef. Sauce is what we have on our pasta! I wish you lots of luck with Return to Audubon Springs.

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Hi Kate. Thank you for stopping by. The first time my hubs mentioned gravy I stated looking for the Turkey! Thank you for the well wishes.

  8. Congratulations again, RoseAnn, on your debut! I can’t wait to read it!

    In my house, it’s sauce, too. My mother was German and French, but she was an amazing cook. She made her sauce from the tomatoes my dad grew in the garden, She canned them, (hundreds of quarts, by the way) and used them year round. I use her recipe now (albeit with commercially canned tomatoes), and like you, I love standing over the stove inhaling that aroma. And don’t get me started on the meat involved! Yum!

    I tend not to make her sauce in the summer, so one of the things I love about fall is the cooler weather, when it is so homey to stand over a hot pot of sauce all day on a Sunday (with the football game on the t.v.).

    Looking forward to RTAS and all your books!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Thanks, Jaye! Nothing smells like Christmastime to me more than my mothers sauce on the stove. My mom used to can all her own tomatoes too, holding on to tradition, but let that go a long while ago. The only thing better than my mom’s cooking is her BAKING!

  9. Absolutely loved this book, RoseAnn. Congratulations on your debut!

  10. It is sauce in our house. Thanks for the great interview

  11. Sauce in my house, even though I’m Italian. Don’t know why.

    I loved this book so much. Best of luck with the release!!!

  12. Your books sounds delightful–and it would be nice if you could share than sauce recipe???
    Best of luck with the release.

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Thank you, Barbara! Stay tuned. That is a possibility. Just waiting on mom’s blessing! She’s just as tough as Mrs. Iuliano when it comes to the family secrets! 🙂

  13. Now I want Eggplant Parm! Yum!

    These two crack me up. The dialogue is so much fun. So glad to see other folks starting to love Audubon Springs!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  October 7, 2013

      Thank you, Gretchen. It’s a great town to visit, and very hard to leave!

  14. Hooray RoseAnn! I just starting reading the book and love it so far. Can’t wait to finish it! Of course we call it sauce, btw…

  15. A belated (again) congratulations on your release, RoseAnn. Terrific interview, too. XXOO Michele

  16. CJ Schindler

     /  February 21, 2014

    Loved the excerpt and the interview! Would love to continue reading about the provocative food fight!

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