Sunday, December 13, 2015

#GiveAway #Interview - KEY Change By Barbara Valentin - Assignment: Romance #3

KEY Change
Assignment: Romance #3
By Barbara Valentin

Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations HERE 


Crystal: Today I am so pleased to host Barbara Valentin! Welcome Barbara! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Barbara: I’d be happy to! I work a day job to support my husband and five boys and write romantic comedies to stay sane.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Barbara:  Key Change is the latest release in my Assignment: Romance series and I’ve already started on the next one that has a planned release of summer 2016.

Crystal:Where did you come up with the idea for for either your current release or the WIP you are working on now? 

Barbara:  The idea for my current release came from imagining two very different people in my life getting together and imagining the amazing affect one would have on the other.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite snack that like to munch on while writing? If so would you mind sharing what it is with us?

Barbara:  I try to keep my snacks healthy (fruit or almonds, for instance). Do I need to disclose that they’re usually coated in chocolate…?

Crystal:  Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Barbara: One of my favorite scenes is when Sara, the heroine, returns to the apartment and finds Andrew, the hero, asleep on the couch with a high fever. It brings out her tender side and the affect on him is pivotal.  Here’s an excerpt:

In the soft light coming from the kitchen, his face looked red. As in flushed.
Crouching down, she touched the back of her hand against his cheek and pulled it back almost instantly.
He didn't feel warm. He felt hot.
Getting up, she went into the bathroom. She used to keep a big bottle of Tylenol on the bottom shelf of the medicine cabinet. She opened it slowly and found a different bottle but the same brand.
Great minds...
Shaking two into her hand, she went to the kitchen and filled a glass with water.
She set the glass on the trunk and crouched before him again. Giving his shoulder a jiggle, she whispered his name.
No response.
Next, she smoothed some thick soft hair off his forehead and stroked her fingers through it a couple of times.
I could do this all night long.
Speaking a little more loudly, she called him by name and added, "Wake up. You need some medicine."
At this, his eyes squinted open. With a wince and a groan, he turned on his back. "What time is it?"
"5:30. Come on now. Can you sit up?"
When it was clear he couldn't manage it on his own, Sara pushed him vertical just enough to wedge herself between his back and the arm of the couch against which his head had just been laying.
Propping him up in a sitting position, sort of, she shifted around so his back was leaning against her chest. That way she was able to reach over and grab the glass of water waiting on the trunk. Working from behind him, she raised the two tablets to his mouth with her right hand as his head rested against her shoulder.
God, you smell good.
"OK, here. Take these. They'll get your fever down."
When she felt his mouth open, she pushed them in and raised the glass of water to his lips. Holding his head upright with her left hand, she held the glass in her right, watching over his shoulder so she wouldn't spill it all over him. "Come on now, babe. Drink up."
At that, he raised his left hand, tilted the glass up and swallowed.
"Good job."
Switching the glass to her left hand meant letting go of his head, but since she had
to return the glass to the trunk, it was a risk she was willing to take. As she leaned forward and did just that, he turned his body toward her as if aggravated with the interruption, forcing her back against the couch as he snuggled into her like she was a pillow. His pillow.
At least the glass was where it belonged.

Crystal: When you are not busy writing wonderful stories to keep us lucky readers entertained, what do you like to do? Do you have a hobby?

 Barbara:  I try to run at least every other day, I love to cook and bake (especially this time of year), and spend time with my family and friends.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite background noise you like to having going while you write (TV, Music, kids playing)?

Barbara:  I really need it as quiet as possible. That might explain why I’m on a first name basis with the librarians at our local library.

Crystal: Thank you for visiting today. It has been a pleasure to visit with you. Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

Barbara:  Thanks so much for having me!


The first thing Sara Cleff, a hard-edged, shower-singing rock music critic, wants to do after following a band on tour is crawl into her nice comfy bed in her well-appointed, optimally located vintage apartment. But before making it home, she learns her roommate-slash-boyfriend has apparently broken up with her while she was away on assignment and sublet their apartment out from underneath her. Ouch! When her
key no longer fits in the lock, the last person she expects to find on the
other side of the door is Andrew Benet, a wickedly gorgeous music director from a nearby church.

Something about the brash music critic strikes a chord with Andrew, and he offers her the chance to stay on one condition—she has to join the choir at his church. While Andrew may hold the lease on Sara's apartment, does he have the key to unlock her heart?

Romantic Comedy, 236 pgs

Buy Links:

Amazon |   B&N |   Gemma Halliday |  iBooks |  Kobo |  Smashwords    Print


Up as usual at the crack of dawn, Andrew trudged to the bathroom,
almost forgetting to close the door behind him before he spotted Sara's bangles
on the counter next to the sink. Reaching over, he shut the door and locked it.
Fifteen minutes later, he was showered, clean-shaven, and ready to go,
except he didn't have to be at the church until four-thirty that afternoon.
Unplugging his phone from an outlet in his room, he brought it with him into
the kitchen, transferred Sara's clothes that she had washed the night before
into the dryer and poured himself some coffee. He sat on a barstool, debated
throwing a sweatshirt on over his plain, blue, short-sleeved T- shirt to ward
off the chill, but started scrolling through his email instead.
His eyes, however, kept drifting over to Sara, out like a light on the
sofa sleeper.
While most of her was wrapped in the blankets like a human burrito,
with the sun starting to break through the bare branches of the ancient oak
tree blocking the expansive bay window, he could see her face quite plainly.
Without all that the heavy dark makeup, he noted, she looked younger.
And kinda
sweet, actually.
But then again, she wasn't talking.
Still, he was glad he invited her to stay the night before.
But what
about tonight? And tomorrow night? And the night after that?
While he mulled the possibilities, she rolled over and stretched,
arching her back and groaning as she did. Resuming her curled-up burrito pose,
she opened her eyes and mumbled, "How long have you been sitting there?"
Looking at his watch, he admitted, "About a minute. Or five. Maybe
ten." His cheeks suddenly felt a lot warmer.
With a loud yawn, she sat up. "I slept so good." Patting the
thin mattress with her hand, she added, "So comfy."
The words hung in the air between them.
before coffee. Great.
Still, the sight of her in his pajama top seemed to lobotomize him. All
he could do by way of a reply was nod.
With a shrug, she added, "Seriously, on a sleeper sofa—who
Snap out
of it.
With no small amount of effort, he turned and glanced at the dryer.
"Your clothes should be ready in about twenty minutes."
At that, Sara took a deep breath and yanked the covers back, revealing
two impossibly long bare legs as she flung her feet to the floor.
Knowing full well that the sudden blast of heat he felt was not
delivered by way of the gilded vents along the floorboards, Andrew got up to
check the thermostat on the wall next to the upright piano anyway, mumbling,
"Gotta love old buildings."

About the Author:

Barbara is an award-winning novelist and second-generation journalist. After spending a decade in maternity clothes,
she has five boys to show for it and much fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune. A member of RWA's Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes "Send NY Times book critic thank you note" and
"Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester."


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  1. Thank you for the wonderful interview and excerpt.

  2. I really enjoyed this interview, excerpt, and insight into the books. Thank you! Sheabeforewilliams(at) yahoo( dot )com