Aurora Russell will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: Aurora Russell
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
First of all, thank you for having me, Danita!
I have written in several romance genres, and I find that I just write whatever book idea feels most interesting at the moment. I have been in a Contemporary Romance mood lately, I guess!
For The Au Pair and the Beast, in particular, I was inspired by my love of Gothic romance, like Rebecca and The Mysteries of Udolpho, as well as beauty and the beast stories. I really wanted to create a contemporary twist on these absolutely classic themes. It was such a fun book to work on!
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
Great question! I am a first-born child, and I have always been pretty responsible, trying to take care of my younger sibling and to be helpful…plus, I have always been a bit of an overachiever. I do think that being a caregiver from a young age has given me a more observant nature, along with a sensitivity toward how others are feeling, which certainly helps my writing. Also, I am motivated/driven to finish!
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
Well, ideally I would like a secluded cabin retreat with an office overlooking a lake or stream…but realistically, since I have two young kids, I am happy to write anywhere with a desk that is mostly quiet. I used to write a lot on the train and the bus during long commutes, too, which worked well except I was always a bit concerned that anyone right behind me might be able to read the really steamy scenes!
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
That is always tough! However, I would rather have a better story overall than keep something that doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t fit, drags, etc. Over the years, I have gotten better at cutting where needed…but I never totally get rid of scenes or passages that were really good. I always save them in separate documents, just in case. Every now and then I’ll steal something from them that might work somewhere else.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
My favorite author changes, probably daily, but I’m going to go with J.D. Salinger (assuming I can choose someone who has passed away…and who was a famous hermit so he probably would never talk to me anyway). I would ask him what he imagined Seymour Glass was thinking throughout “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” in 9 Stories.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
Tough question! All right…with so much of the oceans still so unexplored by humans, I would not be surprised if we discovered some totally crazy creatures, potentially including something like mermaids, down in the depths. There. I said it. Also, I would love to travel down to the depths in a deep-sea submersible.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
One of those cool bottles that will filter saltwater to fresh water
Swiss Army Knife
Gotta be practical! Although I wouldn’t mind bringing a knowledgeable wilderness camper as my companion, for sure (Bear Grylls is easy on the eyes!)…and I love romance novels set on desert islands!
8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?
Healing people (and other creatures, too). Flying and superstrength are awesome, but I’d love to be able to heal, especially now!
9. Favorite snack?
I like lots of snacks, but I would be very sad if I couldn’t eat cheese anymore. Cheese and fruit, cheese and crackers, cheese alone…it’s all delicious!
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
Hm…I am a very measured rule-breaker. I pretty much always go about 8 miles above the speed limit. I want to get there fast, but safely! Does that make me a speed-walking tortoise? Ha!
The Au Pair and the Beast
by Aurora Russell
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Veronica’s new job comes with a darling little boy, a Gothic castle and…a beast?
When recently laid-off Francophile Veronica Carson is recommended for an au pair job by the elegant leader of her French conversation group, she isn’t sure what to expect—but a Gothic castle deep in the wilds of Maine is certainly not it. Still, she’s drawn in by her joyful little charge, Jean-Philippe, and even more drawn to his brooding father.
Ruthlessly successful businessman Alain Reynard has loved before and has no wish to repeat the painful experience. The tragedy of his recent past is still fresh in his mind, and he wants nothing to do with his son’s lovely new au pair. Despite his best efforts, though, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.
A passionate romance begins to blossom but is put to the test when painful reminders of Alain’s past return. As ugly rumors swirl, the truths of the past and the present collide. Veronica must decide if Alain really is a beast and, if so, whether she can love him enough to break through the dark memories and secrets that tether him to what once was.
Monsieur Reynard was angry—furious, even—so that his eyes were thunderous and every line of his tall frame was taut with barely leashed rage.
“Who are you working for? Who sent you?” he demanded.
“What? I’m working for you—or I thought I was. Madame Montreaux recommended me.” Veronica was genuinely confused and a little freaked out, but she tried to be patient. Maybe something had happened to damage his memory in his recent accident? Still, the look he was giving her sent a chill down her spine. In spite of his injuries, this was a powerful, dangerous man—especially now, when the usually-charming façade was down.
“Yeah, sure. What newspaper? Website? Who are you sending pictures to?” He barked out the questions, stepping closer—so close that Veronica could smell his spicy cologne and feel the heat radiating off of him. And how the heck had he gotten down here from the house so fast?
Her mouth fell open. “I’m not working for anyone. I was just sending pictures to my friend. You can read them,” she offered, then added with a snap, “although I don’t appreciate your taking my phone from me.”
He glanced at the partially typed message. “Proof of life?” He raised his eyebrow.
“It’s…ah, an inside joke,” she explained.
He scrolled up and she swore he nearly smiled in spite of himself. “Locked in a dungeon, eh?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn’t remember a time that she didn’t love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways. Find out more about Aurora, upcoming releases, and news at https://aurorarussellauthor.wordpress.com/
First for Romance: https://www.firstforromance.com/book/the-au-pair-and-the-beast