Ana Belle never wanted anything more than to hang up her apron, jump on her Vespa and ride off into the sunset, leaving Sugartown in the dust.
Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.
But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.
Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more– no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.
She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won't just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.
Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell, and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.
And you thought small towns were boring.
Welcome to Sugartown.
Check out our interview with Carmen Jenner, who discusses all things Elijah Cade!
Paula: Hi Carmen! Welcome to Romantic Book Affairs. So very happy to have you here. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Carmen: Thanks so much for having me!
Hi, I’m Carmen Jenner, indie author and all round Aussie girl. I’m obsessed with books, tattooed boys, zombies and cupcakes. I’m also partial to the colour pink and red lipstick, but I loathe long walks on the beach. ;)
Paula: Tell us about your debut book, Welcome to Sugartown. Why did you decide to write this book?
Carmen: Welcome to Sugartown is a dark, sexy New Adult Contemporary novel set in a fictional Australian town. It's funny, angsty, emotional, frightening (at times) and heartbreaking. It also contains tattooed bikers, spunky heroines, drama out the wazoo and pies. Yes, pies.
Inspiration can strike at the oddest times, for me this usually happens in the car when my kidlets are snoring, my man is driving and I’m getting to watch the beautiful Australian countryside fly by my window. One day while driving through a small rural sugarcane town I noticed a run down, abandoned café. I remember thinking how living there must feel like living at the end of the earth, which is funny because the little town I grew up in felt a lot like that, too. Before long I was scrambling for a pen because this story had a mind of its own and it was not going to be politely shoved back in its box.
Paula: I fell hard for the sexy, tattooed, biker Aussie hero, Elijah! Why do you believe readers would enjoy a romantic book affair with Elijah?
Carmen: Think of every hot alpha book boyfriend you’ve ever met. Now take that boy, roll him neck to toe in tattoos, add a pinch of vulnerability, a dash of unapologetic biker, a hint of a damaged heart of gold and sprinkle generously with an Aussie accent and you have Elijah Cade. Who wouldn’t want a slice of that pie? ;)
Paula: While writing Welcome to Sugartown, what music did you listen to? Do you have a playlist?
Carmen: I do have a playlist for Welcome to Sugartown, there’s close to seventy songs on there so I’ll save you from having to read through them all, but if I could pick a song that sums up Elijah and Ana perfectly it would be Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran.
I love the desperation in the bridge; you’ve got a man who is broken, who has just pulled his beating heart from his chest and is offering it up to the woman he loves though he knows he’s not really worthy of having her accept it. I don’t think there could be a more fitting song for their story.
Paula: I love casting my heroes and heroines. If Welcome to Sugartown were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as Elijah and Ana?
Carmen: I don’t know why, but I always dream cast my characters with models. Usually of the super variety. Which then makes it near impossible to find cover models.
Any beautiful, blonde with a sweet but feisty disposition could play Ana, she’s actually partially based on my niece—who graces the cover and looks a lot like Aussie model Ana Heatherton—but if I had to choose an actress it would be Amber Heard.
For Elijah, there is no one else but model Stephen James. This guy is McSex on a Stick! I mean, look at him! How could this guy not make you all melty?
Paula: I’m drawn to books with sexy alpha heroes who ride bikes. Did you know anything about riding bikes or bikes in general when you wrote this book?
Carmen: I come from a long line of mechanics, so naturally you could assume that I’d know what I was talking about in this area. Yeah … you’d be WRONG! I knew nothing about bikes when I started this novel, but I happened to be lucky enough to stumble across a forum in my research and met a lovely long-time biker who went out of his way to help out a distressed little author. He even found Elijah’s bike for me, and trust me, when you’re six foot three and big enough to take on Jared Padalecki every bike looks like a tricycle.
Paula: OMG… be still my heart. I love Jared aka Sam on Supernatural. We will be friends forever, Carmen. J
Paula: There are some dark subjects entwined within this story. Was it difficult for you to write those scenes?
Carmen: Not particularly. I read and write a fair bit of horror and I’m always fascinated with the things that make others uncomfortable and squeamish. I think there’s a lot of light and fluffy reads in the New Adult genre, which is wonderful, but often I crave books that push my boundaries. Writing the heavier scenes in Welcome to Sugartown wasn’t difficult, but the aftermath of the character’s decisions had me bawling like a baby.
Paula: I feel so lucky being able to read Welcome to Sugartown early and being able to spread the love to other readers about your first baby (book that is!). I absolutely loved it. You've created a wonderful cast of characters and now I'm dying for the next book. How many books do you have planned for the Sugartown series? And can you tell us who is in the next book? I’m dying to know!
Carmen: Aw, you’re going to make me cry! *furiously fans self*
There are three books in the Sugartown Series: Welcome to Sugartown, Enjoy Your Stay and Now Leaving Sugartown. Each book focuses on a different couple and the struggles they must overcome.
Book two, Enjoy Your Stay, is Jackson and Holly’s book. I think readers are going to find it a good deal lighter than the first, but this is me we’re talking about and I have a tendency to wreak havoc in my character’s lives, so anything could happen really.
As for book three … you’ll just have to wait and see, but I will tell you that is the book I’m excited about writing the most.
Paula: Oh, man… I was hoping you would say it was going to be Holly and Jackson’s book. Yay!
About the Author
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something author, doctor, pilot and CIA agent. She's also a compulsive, flagrant prevaricator who gets to make things up for a living.
While Sugartown may not technically exist, Carmen grew up in a small Australian town just like it, and just like her characters, she always longed for something more.They didn't have an Elijah Cade, though. If they did, you can be sure she would have never left.
Her debut novel,Welcome to Sugartown, releases November 3, 2013.
|Find Carmen Online: |
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Two randomly drawn readers will win an eBook of Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner! Open Internationally. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget directions and terms and conditions. Giveaway ends at 12:01am on 10/22/13.