Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Welcome Author Ava Miles

Welcome to Love Romances & More Reviews Ava Miles. Comfortable? Let’s begin, shall we?

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. 
Well, hi, I’m Ava Miles, lover of all things romance and happy endings. Like my characters, family is important to me. I’m the oldest of six kids and split my time in the Midwest and the South growing up. I love Nora Roberts books. I know. Shock, right? Since her name is in the title of my first book—NORA ROBERTS LAND.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
Absolutely. My mother took us to libraries in our small town. My parents also let us order books on the school’s book list even though money was tight. It’s one of the things I’m still most grateful to them for. I loved Judy Blume. Super Fudge pretty much rocked my world. Then there was Beverly Clearly. Ralph the Mouse and his motorcycle couldn’t be beat. And I was a lot like Ramona. Sometimes I read Nancy Drew, but only if the cover wasn’t scary. Hah! I couldn’t sleep after seeing anything scary.

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
NORA ROBERTS LAND is based on an actual event in my sister’s life, which ended up turning in a book. Both she and my heroine, Meredith Hale, had their ex husbands blame their divorces on them reading too many Nora Roberts romance novels. They’d put “ideas” in their heads about happily ever after, you see. Well, neither Meredith nor my sister is one to stay down after that kind of a punch. A year after her divorce, she’s called to go home to help out her family’s newspaper in Dare Valley, Colorado and an idea blossoms. She’s going to prove her ex wrong about the whole Nora thing and find her own happily ever after—or NORA ROBERTS LAND as her mother used to call Nora’s books. She and her sister set out to find her own Nora-like hero in Dare Valley, and Meredith’s dating hijinks take off. Until she meets the steamy Tanner McBride, the only man who truly interests her, but is the only man she can’t have.

If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be? 
Laugh. I’d have to say fried food and BBQ. I am a huge food lover. I will travel for this stuff. Memphis is one of my top places between Rendezvous and Gus’s Fried Chicken. I will drive to a hole-in-the-wall or a food truck if it comes highly recommended. Cotham’s outside Little Rock, AR has the best fried pies ever. Food will be an ongoing theme in my writing not only because I have a background in it, but because I LOVE to eat. 

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Yes, I do. The second and third book in The Dare Valley Series will be coming out right after NORA ROBERTS LAND. FRENCH ROAST, speaking of food, will be released August 13. It’s about Jill, Meredith’s sister, and her childhood sweetheart, Brian, who’s a chef. My beta readers told me they became super hungry reading my food scenes. Squeal. Then there’s THE GRAND OPENING coming out September 24. It’s the story of Tanner’s sister and a mysterious hotel owner, who also happens to be a champion poker player. They are like oil and water. She’s a tough cop with no respect for a man who’s made his living by gambling. But he’s ridiculously steamy and understands her and doesn’t want her to change. Can you say he’s the perfect hero? And after I release all these, we’ll move onto another family, so stay tuned down the road for more about all that.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?
Weird cravings? I like to eat stuff with a crunch. Jeez, more food, right? I love smoked almonds right now.

Tell me about some of your characters. Are they inspired by real people or just a figment of your imagination?
For me, all my characters are their own people. I can hear their voices in my head. Each one has a distinct personality. Yet, even with their originality, I have the feeling I’ve met them before—like long lost friends. It’s wonderful. Except when it’s midnight, and they’re trying to tell me about a new scene, or worse, they wake me up and start bickering at each other. Sigh. They are like in-laws or family members. You can’t tell them to put a sock in it or leave.

Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
For me, the creative process flows smoothly when I can quiet my mind. That’s when I easily travel to where my characters live and can hear/see/smell everything they are experiencing. For that, I take a lot of walks, swim, and meditate. I’m open to inspiration happening anywhere and love that moment when there’s a spark. It’s pure magic.

 What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?  
It depends on the book, but I have to say usually the characters. I’ve had people I would never have chosen pop into my space and refuse to leave. It takes them a while to tell me their story, and then we have to go through their journey. I take whatever comes in and ride the waves.

If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main characters? 
Oh, I love this question since my sister asked me this for NORA ROBERTS LAND. I actually have these answers on my Pinterest boards. So fun! Well, for me, Tanner is Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights and more recently Zero Dark Thirty. He’s like a steamy Boy Scout. You know he’s always going to do the right thing in the end, he’ll raise your son to be a man, and he’s sexy and intense. Awesome hero. For Meredith I felt like Amy Adams would be a perfect match. She’s a redhead like Meredith and can go quirky or elegant in a matter of seconds.

If you could trade places with a character in one of your books, who would it be and why?
Oh, golly, I’ve never thought of that. I’m happy living my journey and letting them live theirs. If I had to say though, it would be Meredith. She is close to her family and gets an incredible guy, ensuring her lifetime residence in NORA ROBERTS LAND.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do to just kick back and have fun?
With all the food talk, it won’t surprise people I love to cook. I also love to garden. Right now, I’m having fun with sculpture and am pretty amazed that I am creating 3D people. Who have their own names and personalities, of course.

Thanks for coming. Is there anything else you want to add? 
Thank you. It’s been a pleasure to be here.
Yes, I’d love for anyone interested in all the fun we’re going to be having (contests, 30 Days of NRL, and so much more) to connect with us at:

NORA ROBERTS LAND, Book 1, Dare Valley Trilogy, by Ava Miles
Contemporary Romance/E-book Original/Fiction
July 2013/On sale 7-2-13/$5.99

NORA ROBERTS LAND Follows Journalist Meredith Hale as She Returns Home to
Dare Valley, Colorado in Search of Her Own Happily Ever After

            Ava Miles' first novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, goes on sale July 2nd as an ebook original.  The first book in the Dare Valley Trilogy, it's the story of Meredith Hale and her search for her own "happily ever after", a.k.a. Nora Roberts Land.

            Like her heroine, Ava Miles has always known what she appreciates the most about romance novels.  It's the affirmation of romantic love and the guarantee of a "happily ever after." Which made it all the more incomprehensible when her sister's ex-husband concluded that it was reading Nora Roberts novels that was to blame for their divorce.  Later, Ava realized she had the hook for a new story and NORA ROBERTS LAND was born.

            In the book, Meredith, a journalist, has just bought Nora Roberts' latest release.  It's the first she's picked up since her divorce.  Her New York power broker ex- husband blamed the break-up on Meredith's Nora Roberts addiction, saying it gave her unrealistic expectations of marriage.  For awhile, their messy divorce put a damper on her dreams of happily ever after, but no more.   Meredith has been asked to return home to Dare Valley, Colorado to fill in for her father at the family newspaper, and she's going with more than one agenda.  She also plans to find her own small-town Nora hero, prove that true love exists, and publish an article about her quest.

            That is until her ex gets wind of it.  He's just hired war correspondent Tanner McBride for the international desk at his New York daily and needs him to take on a special assignment first.  He's to go to Dare Valley, make Meredith fall for him and put an end to the article about love à la Nora by breaking her heart. The media mogul is sure the piece will air dirty laundry that will threaten his senate run and he wants Meredith stopped.  Tanner refuses, until blackmail changes his mind.

            When the two meet, the attraction between them is undeniable.  As they work together to uncover the mystery behind the death of a family friend, Meredith, who vowed never to date another newspaper man, nonetheless begins to wonder if Tanner could be her own Nora Roberts hero. Meanwhile, Tanner, who knows he's fallen head over heels in love, is determined to thwart his blackmailer and keep Meredith in his life. 

            Ava Miles mixes humor and suspense in her small town tale as she brings readers a story from the heart and the promise of a happy ending.


            Far from the first in her family to embrace writing, Ava Miles comes from a long line of journalists. 
Ever since her great-great-grandfather won ownership of a newspaper in a poker game in 1892, her family has had something to do with telling stories, whether to share news or, in her case, fiction.  Her clan is still reporting on local events more than one hundred years later at their family newspaper, much like the Hale family in her book. Ava, who's been scribbling down ideas and writing since childhood, says it wasn't until her characters "wouldn't stop talking" that she completed the first of several novels she had written. 

            Born and raised in the Midwest, where her family's newspaper is located, Ava went on to earn an undergraduate degree in writing and advance degrees in political science and conflict management.  She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts' restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland.  Now writing full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community, she is putting the finishing touches on the two upcoming books in her Dare Valley Trilogy and plotting her next series.

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