Featured Author: My Laguna Beach gal pal Kaira Rouda!

K13_1397I first ‘met’ Kaira Rouda when I lived in Seattle and a publicist sent me her debut novel, Here, Home, Hope to read and blurb.  Things were so hectic at the time that I couldn’t get the blurb done in time for Kaira’s PR purposes, but I ended up reading the book later on vacation and loved it.

It wasn’t until I moved to Southern California that I had the chance to meet Kaira in person, and she’s literally brighter and sunnier and more wonderful than all this California sunshine.  She is genuinely kind and bubbly and positive and I am thrilled she’s going to be publishing a story with Tule Publishing’s Southern Born imprint in August, and even more thrilled she’s become my friend.

Kaira has a brand new novel out yesterday, May 1st, and so I’ve asked her here to join us so you can get to know my friend!

Kaira, what do you love most about being a writer?

Being a writer was all I ever dreamed of becoming. I pinch myself because it’s my reality now, and has been since Here, Home, Hope came out three years ago this month. It took me until my 40s to finally go for it. I’m so thankful everyday!

Is there anything that has surprised you about writing or publishing your books?

This is going to sound funny, but I’ve discovered publishing today is a lot like the residential real estate industry was in early 2000. My husband and I built a national real estate franchise called Real Living during the time and the industry was fraught with change. Technology and big aggregators were creating quite a stir. Sound familiar? Whether authors define themselves as traditional, indie, hybrid or just simply, AUTHOR, content is what matters in the end. Good content – in this case a wonderful story and a skilled storyteller; in the case of real estate – good listings, great agents – presented to the right audience is key.

Do you incorporate any of your own life experiences into your stories?

Of course. J And my friends all know it by now.

Tell us about In The Mirror.  What inspired you to write this story?

 In the Mirror is without a doubt the most poignant story I’ve written to date. Ever since I was a young mom myself, I have known far too many moms who have been stricken by cancer in their prime. In particular, a dear friend of mine with children the same age as mine fought a valiant almost 11-year fight with metastatic breast cancer. Her grace under pressure continues to be an inspiration and a lasting legacy. The charities she established continue to raise huge sums of money to fight the disease.

We all know our time on earth is finite, there are warnings all around us, but how many of us think of life that way? In the story, Jennifer is a young mom fighting for her life, but she is still a woman who finds the attention from an old boyfriend exciting. The story asks the question: What choices would you make if you knew you might die soon?

This book has been in the works for 10 plus years, and I am so grateful for the response it has received from early reviewers. I hope you will give it a read.

MIRROR_cover_300dpi

“Emotionally gripping and heart-achingly beautiful.”
When determined mother and entrepreneur, Jennifer Benson, is diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her death sentence the same way she’s tackled her life – head on. But while she’s busy fighting for a cure, running her business, planning a party, staying connected to her kids and trying to keep her sanity, she ignores her own intuition and warnings from others and reignites an old relationship best left behind.
If you knew you might die, what choices would you make? How would it affect your marriage? How would you live each day? How many warnings would you ignore?
And how would you say no to the one that got away?

What are you working on now?

Lines in the Sand, an Indigo Island romantic suspense novel, for Tule Publishing, scheduled to be out this August! I’m so excited to be partnering with Jane’s publishing company and I’m coming to RWA in San Antonio for the first time. So many exciting things are happening right now – I pinch myself!

What’s your astrological sign? 

I’m a Taurus, but I love the ocean.

Three things you know now that you wish you’d known before publishing your first book?

Most authors don’t go on a 22-state book tour. I’m sort of an overachiever. That was a fun tour, but quite exhausting as you may imagine!

Last song you listened to?

This is so cool! (I think!) My youngest son is a junior in high school and just released his first EP. His name is Dylan Rouda and you can find him on iTunes etc. (Yes, proud mom moment.) Yesterday he came into the family room and played a new song he just wrote. It is amazing and I can’t wait for him to record it. (Yes, I’m completely biased, but still it’s good, I promise!) I guess what I’m saying is nothing beats the sound of your child following his dreams!

What words would you use to describe your book?

I love Tracey Garvis Graves’ blurb: “Emotionally gripping and heart-achingly beautiful, this novel will make you think about what’s truly important.”

Kaira Rouda is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs; Here, Home, Hope; All the Difference; In the Mirror; and the short story, A Mother’s Day.  She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books. And of course, on Pinterest! For more about Kaira and her books, please visit her website KairaRouda.com.

Download In The Mirror today:
Amazon: http://ow.ly/vZHPb
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/vZHsC
Kobo: http://ow.ly/vZIGK
iTunes: http://ow.ly/vZKji

~~~

Thank you, Kaira, and to celebrate this little ray of sunshine I’m giving away a Southern California gift with two Kaira Rouda novels, an Orange County Starbucks mug, and Orange County Starbucks drink card, a very cute California t-shirt, and lots of reader swag and treats.  How to enter the giveaway?  Tell me something you learned about Kaira, OR tell me something you liked that Kaira said!  That’s it!  How easy is that?

55 Comments / Add Your Comment →

  1. How wonderful, I will have to check these out… I learned that she finally decided to go for her writing career in her 40s…huge inspiration for me! I also learned she is now part Tule’s list of amazing authors!

  2. I learned that she has a book from Tule Publishing scheduled to be out this August! She is excited to be partnering with Jane’s publishing company

  3. I love Kaira’s “proud Mama moment” promoting her son’s first EP and his love of music. It IS wonderful to have family help us follow our dreams!!!

  4. I learned that she is a Taurus but love the ocean. I am also a Taurus and I love the ocean. I just wonder if she is as bull headed as me when it comes to certain things.

  5. Hi Jane! Congrats Kaira on the book release! I am excited for your upcoming romantic suspense novel, Lines in the sand. Congrats on Dylan’s EP release very cool. I love it when my two kids (7,4) sing to the radio or make up their own songs. Indeed, priceless. What is your favorite genre to write? Favorite genre to read? Is there any genre that you would never write and why? Thanks. TGIF!

  6. DID I MENTION I LOVE JANE PORTER!?!? Ask me about a ray of sunshine that just burst into my life and I’d tell you Jane. Not only is she brilliant, sparkly, genuine and an amazing mom, she is helping guide the future of this crazy book business! I love you Jane!

    Quilt Lady: I am just as stubborn as you :-)
    Christine: I love to write, period. So I guess my favorite genres are women’s fiction and romantic suspense because that’s what I’ve worked on so far — But I would like to try sweet romance, too. I would venture a guess I will never write Erotica – I’m just too shy! But who knows! Never say never I suppose!

    Nice being here with you guys! Good luck on the contest and I really hope you enjoy In the Mirror and give my other novels a try, too!

    Thanks again Jane! xo

  7. I enjoyed the intro to this ‘new to me’ author, thank you very much.

    I learned quite a bit including that this book has been in the works for 10 years, wow!

    Looking forward to reading it.

  8. Hi Jane,
    OMG – I understand what you mean by Kaira being like sunshine. I was totally attracted to her style of writing the minute I read about some of her works. She just shines through. I can’t wait to read her books. What I enjoyed learning about her is that she was a young mother as was I and also that she’ll be at RWA convention in SA. I plan to attend and hope to maybe meet her and some of the other great authors I’ve met via your awesome blog.

    Always,
    Melinda

  9. I learned that she’ll be publishing a romantic suspense novel with Tule publishing in August. I’m looking forward to reading it as well as In the Mirror!

  10. I learned Kaira is going on a 22 state tour and that she is the proud mom of a budding musician. I will definitely check out his EP. :)

  11. Great interview. I can’t wait to read Kaira’s books. I learned she lives in southern California and married with 4 children (one who is very talented and made mom proud. she loves the ocean and I’m right there with her. I just need to move closer to one.

  12. Thanks for this wonderful post and learning about Kaira. Kairais a Taurus and loves the ocean. Her son is a musician.

  13. 22 states? I’m exhausted even thinking about it. way to go, Kaira! I can’t wait to meet you in person in San Antonio!

    Congrats! Looking forward to reading your book.

    Deb

  14. I learned that she is working on “Lines in the Sand”, which is scheduled to come out in August. Congrats! :)

  15. I love Kaira’s books. I can’t wait to read this one! Maybe I can meet her someday at one of her (or your) events. :)

    Have a great weekend Jane. XO

  16. Hi Jane!

    I love that Kaira’s son is so young and creative! Writing and recording his own songs in junior high?!? That’s amazing!

    And so is your giveaway!

    Have a great weekend!

    Amy

  17. I’ve learned that her son has a song on iTunes how great is that and about her friend. My mom had breast cancer she is no longer with us. Every year we do the making strides breast walk and have done other’s and it makes you feel so good helping this way.

  18. First off, I just want to say Congratulations on your book release. I love the ocean too, to me it is God’s sanctuary for the Earth. I learned many things about you today, such as you are a Taurus, love the ocean, took a 22 state book tour, your son is following his dream and is a singer with a record out on I-tunes, and he has just written another one, that he recently shared with you. And, the one thing I learned which in itself gives me hope is that you stated your writing career at 40, so age is not an obstacle for one’s dream’s to come true. For, that I salute you for your courage. But, I also discovered you are a very loving mother, which in my book makes you a great person in itself. Again, I wish you much success with your new book. And, I have added you to my “must read author list”, I add anyone Jane recommends. Thank you Jane, as usual you always are so generous to your fans, and I look forward to reading Kaira’s books. You always have great interviews. No wonder these ladies love you so much. B

  19. Heading to Amazon next to get the book. I liked her thoughts on her happiness from her son’s happiness in following his music dreams. It is great to watch your children growing up and finding joy and fulfillment. The book sounds great.

  20. Love that she went on a 22 state book tour! How else are you going to get to know your audience around the country – and will be on the lookout for a local Laguna girl

  21. Hi Kaira and Jane! You both are so inspiring. Happy New Release Kaira! I already bought it and can’t wait to read it.

    I learned that you didn’t go for your dreams of writing until your 40’s, which is awesome. I am in my 40’s and learning to take a chance and follow my dreams.

    Kim

  22. I learned she loves the ocean !
    Looking forward to reading In the Mirror, my Mom is a 30 year Brwast Cancer survivor

  23. I had to laugh because I’m a Taurus too & I also love the ocean.

    Great to meet Kaira here today thank you.

  24. Again, what a treat to meet a “new to me” author. Jane, you have such great taste in authors and friends. I think the best thing I can say about the interview is that Kaira sounds like the kind of author I want to read and friend I would enjoy having. Such an exhaustive book tour shows she is willing to go the extra mile and mentioning her son’s musical accomplishments certainly tells me that she is a devoted mom, too. Best of luck with your writing Kaira and I am so glad Jane interviewed you here.

  25. Congrats Kaira! I didn’t know Kaira was part of a real estate business. Busy woman! I’m glad she mentioned that she didn’t start writing until her 40s. Never too late to start writing.

  26. I learned what her new book, “Into the Mirror” is about, and it sounds very emotional and like a very good read. And I learned she is working on a romantic suspense novel, which is another one of my favorite genres!

  27. I have not read any of Kaira’s books, but would like to – although I am not sure I could read In the Mirror without a good cry. I find it interesting she didn’t write her first book until after 40 and that her son writes and performs his own music. Thanks for introducing her!

  28. Kaira’s book looks really good, and I agree with Ruth that the cover is wonderful. It looks like her book is one that will really make me think about what is important in life – and that is always a good thing! :) I’m glad that she is joining the Tule family. By the way, Jane, I did my very first review on Amazon and it was for your book, Beauty’s Kiss. It was fun and I will definitely make a point of doing more reviews like that.

  29. I learned she went on a 22 state book tour! Wowzers! I actually learned a lot of other things about Kaira and had already placed her new book on my wish list before seeing this interview! Thank you, Jane, for showering us with information about your author friends!

  30. Loved to hear that Kaira didn’t write her first book until into her 40s. Well into my 40s now, and asking myself that question, is there something else I still want to do?!

    Congratulations Kaira, and thanks for sharing your story!

  31. Hi Jane,

    Thank you for introducing a new author to me and my wonderful TBR list. I honestly enjoyed the fact that her latest has been in the works for 10+ years and that she waited till her 40s to finally take that leap and go for it! That gives other aspiring writers that extra little boost to hold on and not give up on dreams, myself included. I’m also into real estate and enjoy the process of being a real estate agent here in Texas, this affords me the luxury to continue writing screenplays and novels. Can’t wait to read your latest work and Kairas latest.

  32. I loved when she talked about supporting her son’s music career. It is very sweet.
    I can’t wait to read her books.

  33. It’s interesting that Kaira worked in real estate and then pursued her dream of publishing a novel in her 40’s. Congratulations to her on her success.

  34. I think that it is so cool the way she is cheering on her young son in his singing and recording. I applaud all those proud moms out there. I am one too. :)

    I really like the plot of this book. I think that if i was ever given a terminal diagnosis that it would give me the courage to try and do some things that I would never attempt otherwise.

  35. I love the sound of the book as I am a breast cancer survivor. I love how you said: Her grace under pressure continues to be an inspiration and a lasting legacy.

  36. her book sounds amazing – it is om my tbr list – for sure! Loved her interview.. pretty cool that her son is into music!

  37. You guys make me smile so much! Thank you for all of your kind comments here! Great to find so many other Taurus gals who also love the ocean! Thank you, too, for the kind words about my son and his music! Interestingly, the song writing process is quite similar to this novel writing business — I’ll have to write about that someday! And finally thank you for welcoming my new book baby IN THE MIRROR into the world! Your support means so much!! Truly!!

  38. Thank you all for helping to make Kaira feel welcome! I hope you all enjoy her books as much as I do. I love having her be a part of the Tule author family!

    And now for the announcement… Our winner is –

    #30 Felisa Lawson

    Felisa, send me an email with your details and I’ll get your goodies to you!

    much love to all,
    Jane

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