Happy Thursday! Please help me in welcoming Jennifer Johnson to 'Off the Keyboard' this morning. Welcome, Jennifer. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a voluntary red head since turning 40. My right pinky is perpetually bent since an unfortunate incident involving a knife and frozen hamburger meat back in ‘96. I’d rather be in the woods than on the beach. My favorite adult beverage is a mojito, and I’m currently on a quest for canned pumpkin for a Rachel Ray recipe called ‘pumpkin pasta’. There is NO canned pumpkin in this town! Plenty of pumpkin pie mix, but no plain pumpkin.
Double Dog Dare is about a woman who wakes up in a hotel room married to a man she’s never met. She considers herself a ‘good girl’ so this really throws her for a loop. Turquoise Morning Press has a cute little bookstore they just opened. You can find the digital and paperback there. Here’s the link. Other online bookstores carry it as well.
What is the hardest scene you had to write in this book?
This is difficult to answer without including a spoiler. Let me just say the first scene of this book opens when Cheris wakes up in bed with a stranger. Originally, the story began the night before in the hotel room. Early on I realized the morning after was the best beginning, but somehow I had to figure out how to include some of the interaction from their wedding night. How to do that if the heroine can’t remember what happened? I think I came up with a pretty good solution.
Who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in a movie?
Oh, my goodness. What a good question. Most movies I watch are classic so I’m not up on who is who these days. In fact, I incorporated my love for classic movies in the story. Every time Cheris, the heroine, gets nervous, she quotes from an old movie. Geoff, the hero, has seen enough classic movies that he can play along. I’ll go with Hugh Jackman for the hero. Honestly, can you go wrong with him?? Finding the actress is about to kill me because there’s a scene in the book in which the heroine swims in her underwear. When the hero sees her, he’s reminded of Sophia Loren. And let’s face it, most of the Hollywood actresses are so pencil thin. I’ll just play the heroine. I did mention I’d be playing opposite Hugh Jackman, right? *grin*
How did you start writing?
The first memory I had of writing was when I was about twelve, and I picked up some of my sister’s Harlequin books. I read a few, and thought ‘I think I want to write a story like this.’ From then on I carried a notebook with me everywhere. I tortured all of my poor friends by reading aloud my stories to them.
Which comes first, plot or characters?
Maybe this is weird, but usually there’s a scene which comes to me first. I write it down-make it three dimensional in my mind, then the characters take it from there. Sometimes the characters surprise the heck out of me because of what they do. I really do write by the seat of my proverbial pants.
Every book I’ve written has had that initial scene-like a photograph. Then the story is crafted around it.
That's great! I do the same thing. What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
I’ve always liked things in pairs. When I was a kid, I’d play with my brother’s matchbox cars. I’d have male and female cars and have weddings for them. With my Barbies there was always a Ken shortage. I’d have to steal my brother’s GI Joe (because at that time, GI Joe was Barbie size). They’d drive around in his cool jeep. GI Joe had more body joints than Ken so he could hug Barbie better also.
This sounds demented. I better stop here.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’ve always considered myself a writer. I didn’t consider myself an author until I finished my first novel (The Jinx) which was probably around 1998. It was published in 2008.
What’s next for you?
I have a short story coming out in November for a Men in Uniform anthology and another short story for a River anthology. They are both from Turquoise Morning Press.
Where can we find you on the web?
Here’s my website: http://booksbyjenniferjohnson.com
I also keep an active blog: http://jennfrancesca.blogspot.com/
Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sure! Who do you think ought to play Geoff and Cheris in the movie?
Here’s a bit about each of them:
Geoff is a college professor who can be found most nights gazing at the stars. He wears glasses and has dark hair which is a little too long. He looks really sexy in briefs.
Cheris is a computer geek. She beautiful in an understated kind of way with shoulder length hair the color of cinnamon. She’s curvy and is an excellent swimmer.
Also, if you know Hugh Jackman, ask him to call me. I’m looking for a pool boy. The pool is optional. And if you see my husband, don’t mention the pool boy thing. He doesn’t like to swim.
LOL! Thanks for visiting with me today, Jennifer.
by Jennifer Johnson
Turquoise Morning Press
When Cheris McDowell wakes up in a hotel room next to the husband she doesn’t remember meeting, she decides the only practical solution is a quiet divorce.
Too bad the rest of the world disagrees.
As an Internet advice guru, Cheris ought to know how to fix the mess she woke up to, but when her own web master conspires to keep the marriage going, Cheris is at a loss.
Geoff Arrowood III, her new husband, isn’t helping the situation. He’s way too charming and looks a little too good in a Tuxedo.
Will Cheris choose a little storybook madness or the sensible advice of the wisdom she’s followed all her life?
“I dare you,” her companion murmured.
“I don’t take dares,” Cheris replied shooting him a disdainful look.
“What about a double dog dare?” He winked, and Cheris’ stomach fluttered. “Do you take those?”
It was silly, really, letting this stranger impel her to anything. Squaring her shoulders she stepped forward into the looking glass and retrieved the drink. Bringing it to her lips, she sipped once and discovered it to be mild yet sweet—similar to cantaloupe in the peak of its season.
“Mmm. Very nice.” She tilted the cup and drained it. “I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.” She licked her lips and tilted her head. Picking up another glass, she set the empty one in its place. “Go over there and drink one.”
The man raised his eyebrows, but walked to the chair. They faced each other as he determined the correct glass to pick up.
“Yes. That’s the one.” Cheris drank from the second glass enjoying the cool liquid. “I’ve got to find out what this stuff—oh!” She gasped as she tripped over the frame.
At once he was at her side steadying her. “Careful there, Alice. It’s the rabbit hole you’re supposed to fall into.”
Oh. My. Goodness.
Cheris’ hands were on his arms, her fingers sliding over the material, reveling in the solid flesh underneath. She raised her face and blinked up at him. “Whoever you may be,” she drawled. “I have always depended on kindness in strangers.”