My featured guest author today is the gorgeous and very talented, Christie Ridgway who happens to be one of the best contemporary romance authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
I met up with Christie at the RWA Conference this past week as she was one of the speakers for our Women’s Fiction mini-conference. She was awesome! I adore her books, her writing and her sparkling and delightful personality. Her stories are full of charm and dazzling warmth and it’s always fun to see her. She’s such a treasure and I’m thrilled she’s taken time to be with us today to talk about writing…
What do you love most about being a writer?
I love telling romantic stories like the ones I’ve enjoyed for so many years. It’s thrilling to be fulfilling the dream I had from a young age.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a detailed plotter. I need that foundation in order to feel comfortable about the direction of the story…though I don’t hesitate to deviate when I find I need to.
What’s your typical day like when you’re between writing projects?
Between writing projects (like now) I recover from all that I’ve neglected while immersed in the latest book. That means I clean out my office and clear my desk. I hit the gym extra hard. I reconnect with my family and friends. I also read like crazy…and then new ideas for new projects start to trickle into my brain and then flood it until I’m consumed by the next story.
Do you incorporate any of your own life experiences into your stories? Do you get asked this question very often?
I often get the typical “How do you come up with your love scenes?” to which I answer, “Um, from my imagination?” 🙂
Seriously, though, I think a writer can’t help but put some of his or her life experiences into a story. I wrote about a pair of young brothers in Beach House No. 9 that were a reflection of what my own boys were like when they were small. In my latest book I have the hero in a conversation that’s almost identical to one that happened in my family room (I eavesdrop on the men in my life!) about penguins and krill (they talk about the craziest things!).
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I loved to read so I always wanted to be a writer. One of my best friends from high school came to visit when I was a young mother and working part-time in the tech industry. She asked me why I wasn’t pursuing that dream I had for writing romance novels and it fired me up. I joined Romance Writers of America that month, went to a local meeting, and at that meeting was asked to join a critique group that met weekly. I was on my way!
Tell us what your current release is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
I have a trilogy out all set in the same beach house in a small seaside community in California. The couples meet at that house during what they come to call a “summer of love.” Lots of sunshine and sexiness, but each story has a deep emotional core as well. They were such a pleasure to write.
Name 3 – 5 books you’ve read this year. Which ones would you recommend to your girlfriends?
I read a lot of books because I write a monthly column about new romances for BookPage, a publication that goes mostly to libraries (they have a web presence as well). My favorite 2013 romances are: DREAM LAKE by Lisa Kleypas, Robyn Carr’s THE WANDERER, and Anne Stuart’s NEVER KISS A RAKE (that one won’t be out until August).
What three words would you use to describe your writing style?
Sexy. Sweet. Vibrant.
Early bird or night owl?
2 things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the courage to try?
How about I lack the talent to try? 🙂 I think it would be awesome to sing, however, I can’t stay on tune. I did just try stand-up paddle boarding this past weekend and I think we’re going to get one because I’d like to give it a whirl (that said, I only sat and paddled because I didn’t want to look stupid falling off and didn’t want to get my hair wet right then…but hey, maybe I can actually do it. Unsurprisingly, Son2 has informed me it’s unlikely as I’m not fabulously athletic–but I hope to prove him wrong.)
Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty contemporary romances. A five-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.
Christie, thanks so much for visiting with us! Readers and friends, do check out Christie’s website to learn more about her fabulous books. I assure you, you’ll love them! To celebrate Christie’s visit with us today, I’m giving away, to two lucky winners, a copy of Christie’s Beach House No.9, a Southern California Starbucks drink card and other fun goodies! For a chance to win, leave a comment and tell me what book(s) you’re planning to read at the beach this summer! Contest ends on Friday and I’ll announce winners on Saturday.
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I will be reading A Certain Summer at the beach this summer. Love beach time and summer. Meeting Christie on your blog wonderful.
It’s good to hear that romanticism is alive and well. I am so terribly tired of all the vampire/zombie/werewolf/ novels and movies. Would love to escape with one of Christie’s books and a large lattte, please!
I won’t see the beach this year, but am reading non the less. Right now it’s John Grisham – The Racketeer, before that it was Dan Brown – Inferno, and I just got my hands on Carly Phillips – Perfect Fit and Susan Elizabeth Phillips – The Great Escape 🙂
If I was going to the beach I would be reading Jill Shalvis’s book It Had to Be You! We don’t go on vacations any more so I want be at a beach.
I am currently reading, “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khalied Hosseini. This is the same author who wrote The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Great books! Before this one, I read Kimberley Freeman’s Lighthouse Bay, which was very good.
I’m going to read Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand!!!
I’m needing another book to get lost in. I finished The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty not too long ago. Highly recommended!
I have read some of Christie’s books in the past and really enjoyed them. So, I know this new series will be really good as well. I really don’t know what I will read next when I finish a certain book. It just depends on what grabs my attention first on my to read pile. Right now, I’m in the middle of reading Marci Nault’s The Lake House and really enjoying it.
I’m reading LuAnne Rice’s The Lemon Orchard.
I would love to read Christie’s book. Sounds like a good beach read.
I am going to be reading the anthology Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, Helen Kay Dimon and Christie Barth.
If I was going to the beach, I would read Susan Mallery, Jane Porter and Gena Showalter.
Reading now: It had to be you.
By Jill Shalvis. Hopefully I’ll make
it to the beach. I’ll check your blog
for a great pick if I finish before I get
I plan to read The Newcomer by Robyn Carr and Ladies Night by Mary Kay Andrews and the rest of Laura Florand’s chocolate books.
twisted perfection by Abbi Glines
Thanks for introducing us to another great author. Right now I’m reading All The Summer Girls, then Ladies Night and The Lake House! I need more time to read all these great books!!!
Unfortunately, I have no beach plans this summer. But, that’s not stopping me from reading! Christie Ridgeway’s new series sounds interesting! I’ve read The Help, Safehaven, A Week in Winter and Flirting with Forty so far this summer. Next, I’m not sure, although I have a list and a book store trip planned soon!
I have Jill Shalvis’ It Had To Be You and Sue Grafton’s W is for Wasted up next in my reading list…and they will be porch swing reads, not beach reads!
thanks again for another introduction to what sounds to be a great author. Look forward to reading her books. Currently reading Fifty Shades of Grey with a friend even though I’ve already it. She didn’t want to be the last one to read the series. Hope you are having a fun summer.
Won’t see the beach this year; but after i get moved, i am going to take a whole afternoon to read The Lake House – By Marci Nault! I won it and i can’t wait to read it!!!
So far I have enjoyed Sarah Pekkanen’s newest, and also Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld. Right now I am reading Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and loving it!
Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂
I am going to be reading Susan Mallery’s newest books and then I would love to start reading the Play-by-Play series by Jaci Burton, they sounds really great.
I’m looking forward to Jill Shalvis’s latest, Susan Mallery’s and Vicki Lewis Thompson’s latest werewolf book. Right now I’m reading Christine Feehan’s Leopard series.
I’m finishing up Jason Mott’s The Returned and then it’s Teri Browns Born of Illusion.
I have already read Tessa Dare’s The Scandalous Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright and loved that one.
Thanks for introducing me to another author. I’ll pick up a copy when I’m back from my summer vacation.
Have a great summer:-)
I’m planning on reading two romantic suspense books by Laura Griffin: “Twisted” and “Scorched.” And “Vortex” by Cherry Adair. And lots more too!
I’m looking forward to reading ONCE UPON A TOWER by Eloisa James.
Christie’s book looks like a great summer read. I am looking forward to reading Nora Robert’s Whiskey Beach this summer.
Lake Como by Anita Hughes is the book that I have been anxiously awaiting to read at the beach. Too bad I couldn’t actually be in Lake Como reading it.
Summer at Mustang Ridge by Jessie Hayworth. I love her writing.
No beach for me this summer, but I’ve still plenty of reading planned. Susan Mallory’s latest is next on my list.
I’m catching up on Blaize Clement’s petsitter’s series with “The Cat Sitter’s Cradle.”
Wow.. I have so many it’s not even funny: waiting on Cassia Leo, Sawyer Bennett, Jaci Burton, Lauren dane…
I am currently reading Claire Cook! Such fun summer reading (although hard to get in the time in these busy summer months!) 🙂
Hi Jane! Hi Christie! I enjoyed this series! I should go to the beach more often since I live so close, maybe this weekend…..
I don’t have a specific book I am planning to read, I have several that I am anxious to get to though. I am almost finished with Colton by Blood by Melissa Cutler.
I love those books!! I have read both recently and truly enjoyed them!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
I’m reading Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” and next will be Laura Griffin’s “Exposed.”
I plan on reading Chose the wrong guy, gave him the wrong finger by Beth Harbison. =]
I already read Elin Hilderbrand’s Beautiful Day. Next is Robyn Carr’s The Newcomer and The Hero.
I have both The Good Woman and The Good Daughter on my bedside table.
Sounds like a good trio to read. Dee
reading Odd Mom Out at the moment
Hi! I love Christie’s books! I’ve been reading a lot this summer-its been raining a lot here in fla. so haven’t been to the beach. I’ve read Changing Lanes by Kathleen Long and just finished your book The Good Daughter- both books made me laugh and cry, I loved them both. Now, I’m trying to find another book to read. Have a nice hump day!
I’ve enjoyed a few of Christie’s books and look forward to reading this series – perfect for the beach. I’ll be going to the beach in SC in August and have already set aside a few Lori Foster and Linda Lael Miller books to take. Fingers crossed that I can add Beach House No 9 to my pile.
I love meeting new Authors and I’m putting her books here on my TRL. Thanks for having guest here. I’m looking forward to reading another new Author Heather Means book My Special Force. An emotional read. Also The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
i’m currently reading deadly dance by dee davis. thank you for featuring christie ridgway. looking forward to reading her stories. thanks for sharing, jane. 🙂
I’m reading Whistling past the graveyard. I’m enjoying it. Christie’s books sound like great reads.
It was nice to get to know Christie. I’ve seen people paddle boarding. I’m not sure if I would like to stand like that for a long period of time.Plus the water would have to be calm.
I just finished Iris Johansen’s Tender Savage, Saint Pierre’s freedom fighter Ricardo and brave Lara’s love story!
I also enjoyed Susan Anderson’s Playing Dirty, Cade and Ava’s story.
Wedded In Sin -Jade Lee
What Happens In Scotland -Jennifer McQuiston
How To Pursue a Princess- Karen Hawkins
I also have several categories that I like to fit in and read outside.
Finally thanks for the chance to win Beach House No. 9 and a Starbuck’s GC!
Hope you’re enjoying a beautiful summer!
I plan on reading the following:
The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton
Baby & Bump – Brooke Moss
The Astronaut Wives Club – Lily Koppel
Werewolf in Alaska – Vicki Lewis Thompson
I just added Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life by Kyran Pittman to my iPad so I am very excited to read that. I love memoirs!
I was eyeing Christie’ book ‘Beach House No.9’ in the store the other day, and was curious…now, thanks to this post, I guess I’m gonna go get it – guess what I’ll be reading very soon! Thanks for these author posts!
No beach near me, but maybe next year… meanwhile, I read in the cool comfort of my home.
If I were going to the beach, I’d bring one of the Hot Flash Club books. I’m working my way through them. It’s nice to read about other women going through the same issues that I am.
I’ll be reading poolside instead of at the beach…I’m planning to read A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard and Playing Tyler by TL Costa.
I have a long list of summer beach reads! At the top of the list are The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman, Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter (I love your books Jane!), and I’ve just added Beach House #9 to the list! Sounds like a fantastic book!
I must get to the beach soon–mandatory! I’m currently reading “The Storyteller” by Picoult. Good but very heavy and I just took a break from it to read “Left Drowning” by Jessica Park. I’m always reading something, I can’t stop!!
Happy Summer, Jane! Miss ya’
I am reading Richard Paul Evans’ “The Walk” series. The series is a collection of novels, but the way they read makes it seem more like a memoir.
I’m reading The Registry by Shannon Stoker , and gonna read Love Irresistibly by Julie James after that 😉
I have been a fan of Christie’s writing for years now. Loved the cartoon like covers of the earlier books.
I have been re-reading some favorites. The Tiara Club by Beverly Brant. I am waiting for The Good Wife to come in September.
I am reading Sins Of The Mother by D Steele. It is a great summer read.
Sounds like a great summer read, I’ll be sure to look for it!
I’m reading a Holly Chamberlin book right now (actually a Christmas story, my seasons are messed up!), and a couple of YA novels for work — Eleanor & Park, and Virals.
Hope you’re enjoying your time in Hawaii 🙂
Just getting here to read your blog this AM, but want to say I have been reading Christie’s books for years and enjoy her. Thanks Jane for your introductions and sometimes reminders of great authors.
I hope to get to the beach soon. When I do I want to read Lake Como by Anita Hughes.
As always, I love to hear what other people are reading! I will definitely check out Beach House No. 9!
On the nightstand, Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand on the iPod
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro for Book Club
Next up : The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
I have already been to the beach this year……I plan to read This crazy little thing by Gracie Brogan. Hope its a good one. Would love to read Beach House No.9 also. Thanks for all the good author suggestions Jane.
I just finished The Cuckoo’s Calling & can’t decide which book to read next. These are the things that plague my life. 🙂
Right now I am reading The Glass Wives. It is excellent. Next is Gone Girl since they are making it into a movie. I always have to read the book first!!
Love,love,love beach reading…even when not at the beach. Just finished “Secret Daughter”, almost finished “Heads in Beds” and ready to read about the Donner Family. Would so enjoy reading “Beach House No.9” while sippin’ on a latte.
I’m a day late in announcing the winners – so sorry! Our winners for Christie’s post are –
#16 Michelle H
Please send me an email with your name and mailing address, along with your comment number and the title of this blog so I can get prize in the mail asap!
Hope you’re all enjoying the sun!
Thank you Jane! I am sooooo excited, especially to have a new book to read :)I’ll send you my address. Have fun in Hawaii!!
congrats to the winners!
Congrats winners !