Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tour Kick Off - Meet and Greet - Regrets Only by M.J. Pullen

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 2012

Regrets Only is the second book in the Marriage Pact series, but it can be enjoyed by those who have read The Marriage Pact and first-time readers alike. A fast-paced and charming story, Regrets Only centers on Marci’s picky best friend, Suzanne, whose event-planning skills are almost as legendary as her exploits with men.
At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all. A successful party-planning business with an elite client list. A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?
Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules. 
But when her catalog of past relationships turns into a list of criminal suspects, she is faced with the horrifying possibility that she may not live to regret any of it…

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?
Definitely. Sometimes.  For me, writing is a vocation: more a calling than a career, and I have answered that calling in a variety of ways, my whole life. Sometimes it pays the bills, sometimes it just feeds my soul. Either way, I don’t have any choice. I have to write. 

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
The hardest part for me is, and probably always will be, time management. Writing takes focus, discipline and dedication, especially when you get stuck at a tough spot in the story or you’re doing the not-so-glamorous parts like revising. It means you have to choose to give up other things in your life that might provide more immediate gratification, in order to do the work. Also, you have to be able to steer yourself away from the internet once in a while – taking your brain from passively receiving information to creating something new. It’s a different kind of energy, definitely a challenge. 

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
Yes. I had several friends and family members who served as moral support and beta readers. Among them, however, my good friend Ryan stands apart. We were English majors together at UGA and studied at Oxford University in England one summer as well. We have the kind of long-standing friendship and mutual respect that allows for total honesty. Ryan happens to be a guy, and a lawyer – very analytical! – not exactly the target audience for a contemporary romance. I actually think that makes him a better critique partner in some ways. He sees things from a different perspective and helps bring texture to my writing. I owe him a lot. Of course I get lots of great feedback from my girlfriends, too! 

#4 – What is next for your writing?
Right now, I am finishing up the third novel in The Marriage Pact series, for release in November 2013. After that, I have several projects in the hopper: including a mystery/adventure series for women and a nine-part YA paranormal series (ambitious much?). There are some other romantic comedies taking shape in my head, too, and a non-fiction project I’ll be working on with a friend of mine. Add blogging and raising kids to that list and I think I have my work cut out for me!

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
Definitely. I’m very ADHD in my reading habits and I always have several books open, plus an audio book I listen to in the car or while exercising. I read across genres, anything good. Right now I am reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner, and listening to A Clash of Kings (Book #2 in the Fire and Ice Series) by George R.R. Martin. For writing instruction, I’m also reading 179 Ways to Save a Novel, and of course I re-read my own books to continue revising and to make sure each one is consistent with the last.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

A country club girl with a list of failed romances meets a country star with his own checkered past, and sparks fly. REGRETS ONLY by @MJPullen

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3? 
Both. I’m a music addict so I have to have something on every platform.

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate. Preferably soft-serve in an old-school cake cone if you have it.

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?
Fries. With mustard.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?
Both. In my view, it’s hard to separate them. Comedy is hollow without drama, and drama without an element of laughter is too intense: like staring directly at the sun. Even the most decadent sweets need salt to bring out their true flavors.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?
Can I say Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner or Helen Fielding instead? I guess my writing is more like Nicholas Sparks than Danielle Steel.

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?
There’s a difference? Oops.

#7 – Call or Text?
I prefer calls, but I have to admit I probably text more often.

#8 – Public School or Home School?
For our family, public school. I admire the patience and dedication it takes to home school; I just don’t have it. My kids would revolt. 

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
So. Much. COFFEE. 

#10 – eBook or Paperback?

Paperback in the bathtub, eBook almost everywhere else.

When she’s not chasing two little boys or trying to wipe something sticky off the floor, M.J. (Manda) Pullen is the bestselling author of two contemporary women’s fiction novels: The Marriage Pact (2011) and Regrets Only (2012). She is working on several new projects as well, including more women’s fiction and a YA paranormal adventure series.

M.J. grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Writing has always been a big part of her life, both professionally and personally. She studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking a sabbatical to spend more time writing and raising her brood. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.

M.J. loves creating true-to-life characters who are flawed, relatable, and most importantly redeemable. She tries to explore all aspects of relationships, from romantic entanglements to battles between mortal enemies, and everything in between. She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.

After years traveling and living in places like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, M.J. has now returned to her home city of Atlanta (actually Roswell, for hard-core Roosevelt fans and connoisseurs of suburban culture), where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!

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