Jen: Today we welcome Stefanie London to Romancing the Book. Stefanie, will you share a short bio with us?
Stefanie: Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart.
Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. But writing emails didn’t fulfil her creative urges, so she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
Now she lives with her very own hero and dreams of travelling the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, French perfume, high heels and zombie movies. By day (and night!) she writes sexy, contemporary romance stories and she couldn’t be happier.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Stefanie: Loving the Odds is part of the ‘What Happens in Vegas’ series with Entangled Lovestruck. All the stories are based around a fictional romance convention taking place in a Las Vegas hotel. When Entangled put the call out for people to contribute stories to this continuity I jumped at the chance.
The idea came to me when I started wondering about unconventional reasons why someone might fly to Vegas. Most people go there to see the sights, to gamble, to see shows, go shopping etc. But what if someone was going to Vegas only to leave the day they arrived? This idea bloomed into Bailey’s character, who is going to Vegas without a hotel reservation and the sole mission of retrieving a person item that her ex-boyfriend has stolen from her.
She enlists the help of a very sexy commitment-phobic PR guy and lots of shenanigans ensue. These fun, quirky kinds of stories are my favorite to write!
Her gaze zeroed in on the fine blond hairs sprinkled like gold dust along his sun-tanned skin. The silver band of his watch glinted in the light as he moved, switching to his other arm. Rolled up sleeves should have made her feel anything unusual, but the way he did it, so slow and languid—as though he was fully aware of the effect he had on her—made it all the more enticing.
Her mind carried the action forward, this tame and benign form of undressing extrapolating out until she pictured him unbuttoning his shirt and yanking at the belt on his waist. Sliding the wool pants down his legs.
“So, how long have we been going out?” she asked, cringing at how soft and breathy her voice had become.
You’re one step short of being a drooling animal. Get a goddamn grip, Bailey Amanda Reuben!
But the only thing she wanted to get a grip on was him.
“How long ago did you break up?”
“Only six weeks.”
“Okay, why don’t we say we’ve been dating for a month?” A slow grin stretched across his face. “We’re still in the honeymoon phase and having lots of fantastic sex. How
does that sound?”
How did it sound? Like everything she hadn’t realized that she’d wanted until this very moment.
Sipping on her water, she willed her hormones to stop screaming at her. “My boyfriend…” She played with the idea in her mind as a cat might play with a toy on a string.
Want curled low in her gut. For once she wouldn’t seem weak. She wouldn’t be poor little Bailey, “the weird girl,” ending up on her own yet again. False as it might be, the promise of Julian’s shocked face was tempting. Very tempting.
“How do you think he’ll react?” Lance asked as their food arrived at the table.
“He’ll be surprised, I think.” The scent of freshly baked pastries wafted up and tickled her nose. She tore off one end of the croissant and then popped it into her mouth, chewing as she considered the possibilities. “Jealous? I don’t know. I guess I’m not too good at predicting these kinds of things.”
“He’s the kind of guy who always likes to have the upper hand and to be the one in a position of power. Seeing me with you…” She busied herself with pulling apart the rest of the flaky pastry. “Well, you’re clearly an upgrade.”
“Are you flirting with me, Bailey?”
“I don’t flirt.” She reached for her drink and relished the cooling liquid rushing down her throat. “I’m simply stating a fact. According to the things humans find conventionally attractive, you tick many boxes.”
He raised a blond brow. “How so?”
The sound of his laugh was like thunder rumbling in the distance. Something she should have taken as a warning but instead she found compelling and kind of thrilling. “I don’t think anyone has ever said that to me before.”
“Oh, it’s true. Your eyes are set apart a nice distance and your nose is straight. I can see…” She paused when she realized that he hadn’t meant it as an invitation for her to explain her theory. “You have a nice face.”
“So do you.”
She shrugged and fought the natural urge to dodge the compliment with a counter argument. “Thanks.”
“I don’t know your ex, but my gut tells me that he made a stupid mistake in letting you go.” Lance bit into his cherry Danish and his tongue darted out to catch a smear of red jam at the corner of his lip. “People don’t usually get you, do they?”
A lump formed in her throat. “What makes you say that?”
She rolled her eyes. “That’s a polite way of putting it.”
Jen: What was your most romantic date?
Stefanie: My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) whisked me off to a fancy hotel in the city. We were 20 at the time, so the fact that he saved up and planned the whole date out was incredibly romantic.
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Stefanie: Vanilla bean or anything with honeycomb
Jen: Favorite sport to watch?
Stefanie: Baseball (Go Jays!!)
Jen: Favorite gift received from a fan?
Stefanie: Emails are the best, honestly! I love hearing from readers.
Jen: What is your guilty pleasure?
Stefanie: Watching Master Chef…but I don’t feel guilty about it 😉
Jen: How neat is your work environment?
Stefanie: Super neat! (I’m a Virgo)
Jen: What was the last movie you saw in the theatre?
Stefanie: The Martian
Jen: What TV family would you want to be a part of?
Stefanie: Not a family, but the precinct in Brooklyn 99
Jen: Describe your writing style in one word.
Jen: Do you have a mentor?
Stefanie: No, but I have plenty of people to look up to.
Jen: Camping or hotel?
Jen: iPhone or android?
Jen: What’s next for you?
Stefanie: I’ve got a few series on the go at the moment. My Dangerous Bachelors Club series for Harlequin’s Blaze line is continuing with the second book (A Dangerously Sexy Affair) coming out next month. These stories are quite steamy and they each have a mystery element to them which is so much fun to write! I’m working on book #3 at the moment.
I’ve also got my Behind the Bar series with Entangled Lovestruck, which is set in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia and is set around a bar/restaurant and the men who work there. I’d love to add another book to that series, so I’m working on a story right now for it.