Interview & Contest: Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock

auth_CatherineMannA-500x500Jen: Today we have a special treat for you! Please help me welcome Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock to Romancing the Book. Ladies, will you share a short bio with ?
Catherine MannUSA Today bestselling and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule Publishing. She and her husband have four children and live in Florida, where she is a founding member and president of the Sunshine State Animal Rescue.

joanne 2Visit Catherine Mann at her website or on Facebook and Twitter

Joanne Rock has taken her love of happily-ever-afters to a variety of subgenres from contemporary romance to medieval historicals. A Golden Heart recipient and three-time RITA nominee, Joanne is a dedicated reader and super-fan of the romance genre.

Visit Joanne at her website, or on Facebook and Twitter


Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from
Joanne: Our latest release, Bride on the Run, is the fourth story in our co-authored Runaway Brides series. The baseball player hero was actually the jilted groom in an earlier story, and readers were eager for Boone to have his happily-ever-after! In this story, he hunts down the woman who broke up his engagement. We had the idea as we were plotting The Wedding Audition. We knew Boone was the perfect hero for the woman who caused him so much trouble:

Valerie Dimitri is on the run from her former fiancé who’d only wanted to marry her for her family’s questionable criminal ties. She also has the perfect cover with an assumed name and a thriving call-in advice show, “Sex Talk with Serena”, until one messy call blows up in her face. When she counselled “Anna J” to break up her with her boyfriend, she had no idea that she was telling a local celebrity to dump the hometown hero ballplayer, Boone Sullivan.

Boone has discovered Valerie’s real identity and he’s determined to expose her secrets… and maybe more. What he didn’t expect was to be blindsided by a crazy attraction to the buttoned-up lady with the sultry voice and a hidden past. He had carefully plotted his revenge, but soon all he can think about is how much he’d like to take Valerie as very own his stand-in bride…

Runaway Brides Series

Book 1: How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days (Free Download)
Book 2: The Wedding Audition
Book 3: There Goes the Bride
Book 4: Bride on the Run


“Oh my God, it’s Boone Sullivan,” one of them cooed.

“Please take our photo with him,” the other asked, passing a phone in Valerie’s direction without ever looking at her.

“And one on mine, too,” the other one insisted, a second phone now in Valerie’s face.

Dressed to the nines, both women were obviously invited guests at the function and not party-crashers, but it struck Valerie as a bit rude to grope a man who was with another woman. Still, she looked to Boone and he shrugged back at her. Giving tacit permission for the photos?

“I don’t think the photography with the players is allowed outside the donation booth,” she reminded them politely, not taking their phones. “Boone already took a turn to raise money for–.”

The women ignored her.

“Feel his biceps,” exclaimed one, squeezing his upper arm.

“Oh my God,” murmured the other, her face so rapt she looked like she might fly into an orgasm just from feeling up her idol.

Boone’s jaw turned to steel. His eyes narrowed. And Valerie quickly recalled the other reason she’d been invited tonight.

“Okay, that’s enough.” She set aside both phones on a nearby table and took one feminine wrist in each of her hands, plucking both of them off him. “Play time is over and Mr. Sullivan is not your personal pleasure aid.” Her British accent slipped into her speech without her permission. But then, Serena excelled at giving straight forward, practical advice.  “Have a good evening, and thank you for helping us to raise money for Stars’ charities.”

Taking Boone’s hand, she tried to lead him away now that she’d freed him, but he didn’t move.

“Um. Boone?” She stopped tugging. Stared back at him while he gazed at her with an unreadable expression. Clearing her throat, she said, “This is our big exit.”

Something flickered in his gaze. Something hot that made her want to lick her lips.

“It’s not us who needs to leave,” he reminded her. And, stepping forward, he wrapped both arms around her waist.

Her heartbeat suspended. Her breath vanished. So when she asked “What are you doing?” it was the barest squeak.

Maybe he’d read her lips though. Because his mouth breathed an answer over hers.

“I’m thanking you.”

One hand skimmed up her spine and cupped the nape of her neck. His other hand pulled her closer with a slight pressure applied to the small of her back. When his lips brushed hers, she gave up making sense of whatever was happening because all her nerve endings were singing. And straining toward Boone.

Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Joanne: I’m a little of both! I like to set a course for the story, lightly plotting out the characters’ journey. However, I give them lots of leeway to tell their own story. Sometimes I’m surprised at where they lead me, but I never regret putting the story in my characters’ hands.

Catherine: Great question! I used to be a rigid plotter in the early days of my writing, but I had an editor challenge me to just fly into the mist with a book as an experiment –  and wow!  It was quite a journey. Now I tend to be more of a pantser (working from an overall one page synopsis story vision). I think the point is that the writer’s journey is a fluid one. Who knows where my journey may lead me next?!

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Joanne: My husband is a former sports editor and he remains very knowledgeable about sports, so I enjoy writing athlete heroes because it’s a world that I feel close to. I’ve written about hockey and baseball players in my own books, so it was easy to bring in a baseball star for Bride on the Run. Cathy and I are looking forward to writing a series with football stars for Harlequin Desire next spring. (Learn more below!)

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Catherine: Diet Coke. Beach View. Puppy companions. Park butt in chair and write!

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of co-writing?  Easiest? Most rewarding?
Joanne: The most challenging aspect of co-authoring The Runaway Brides series was simply finding enough time to work together! We have busy individual release schedules (especially Cathy!) so it was tricky trying to make that time to plan and write a series together. However, I will say that the work itself was incredibly rewarding once we made the time for it since we are great friends and have always enjoyed a close working relationship as critique partners. Writing a story together just allowed us to take that working relationship to the next level, which was really, really fun. We got to brainstorm through the challenges as a team, and see the story come together as a team. The actual writing was easy because we have a very intuitive understanding of one another’s voices after reading for one another for many years.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Catherine: Uhm, what’s free time? I’m a type A, on the go person. I love staying busy. Between a large family, 4-6 books a year, and running an animal rescue, my life is joyously full!  I have started crocheting again though, something I find soothing to do while our family’s watching a movie and hanging out talking. Extended family will be getting lots of scarves, blankets, etc for Christmas this year! (Shhhh! Don’t tell!)

Jen: What’s next for you?
Catherine & Joanne: We look forward to our individual releases – Catherine Mann’s PREGNANT BY THE COWBOY CEO from Harlequin Desire in July, Joanne Rock’s DANCES UNDER THE HARVEST MOON from Harlequin Superromance in October—but our next joint project is a brand new series for Harlequin’s Desire line next spring called Bayou Billionaires, where secrets and scandal are a family legacy! The books will be individually authored, but the series will alternate releases between Cathy and Joanne. Catherine Mann kicks off the series in February with HIS PREGNANT PRINCESS BRIDE, and Joanne picks up the series in March with HIS SECRETARY’S SURPRISE FIANCÉ. We hope readers will check out this exciting new series.

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33 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Catherine Mann & Joanne Rock

  1. JoAnne says:

    At wedding receptions I like to hear:
    Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce since it’s the song my husband and I danced to for our first dance almost 34 years ago.
    Also, Daddy’s Little Girl since I danced with my dad to this song at my wedding.

    I enjoyed the book and reviewed it for RtB. I look forward to reading the others in the series.


  2. erinf1 says:

    huh… good question!!! ummm… I guess anything fun 🙂 after all of the formalities are done. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kelly Thompon says:

    Pachelbel’s Canon in D, is one that I really like. I even chose it for my own wedding!

    • Hi Kelly! This one plays on my Pandora station and I’m always glad to hear it! It’s the kind of music I write to every day… pleasing but not distracting.

  4. Gaby says:

    I like to listen to the song the bride and groom dance, which is often a waltz or a ballad 🙂

  5. Janine says:

    I don’t have a favorite in my mind, but I like something new and non-traditional. Some of the songs played at wedding are used so often, it almost makes the wedding seem less special. Something different gives a sense of newness to the reception and when you hear the song afterwards, you will think of that couple who had it at their wedding. We didn’t have dancing at my wedding (it was a small event), but we played a combo of Hawaiian and reggae music in the background. I had a lot of comments about the music being different and very fitting for us.

  6. Tanya Guthrie says:

    I don’t have any favorite songs at weddings, but I love the father daughter dance!

    • Tanya, I think my dad and I danced to Unforgettable by Nat King Cole, but I’m embarrassed I don’t remember!! I know I didn’t choose the Johnny Hartmann song I like so much because I didn’t want to be teary ;-).

  7. Susan C says:

    I like when they play songs that get everyone up dancing. Celebration and YMCA are two of my favorites.

    • Susan, at the Harlequin party each year, the go-to dance fav is It’s Raining Men . The floor sure fills in a hurry so we can all sing and dance to that one!!

  8. denise says:

    I don’t have particular songs I want to hear at wedding receptions. Sometimes, if I’m at an Italian wedding, there are songs I know I will hear which won’t be played at other weddings.

  9. Bonnie Gonzales says:

    You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings, because it is beautiful and romantic and has so much meaning between two people!

  10. Shari says:

    Butterfly Kisses, the daughter/ father dance, Brings tears to my eyes all of the time. My husband and daughter danced to this song at her wedding last summer.

  11. Marcy Shuler says:

    I love hearing a song that’s special for the couple and finding out why it’s special.

  12. Christy says:

    I love hearing “At Last” by Etta James. She has such a beautiful, soulful voice, and the song itself is very romantic. Of course, it’s always fun when the party songs begin to play, too!

  13. Eileen Aberman-Wells says:

    I don’t exactly have favorites I want to hear, but I do enjoy seeing what the bride & groom choose for their first dance, father/bride, & mother/groom dances.

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