Monday, January 10, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Denise Robbins

I just recently read and reviewed the book Never Tempt Danger.  I am thrilled to welcome to the blog the author Denise. I am very glad I was able to be on your tour, and more so now after reading the book. Review HERE.

M:  There is a letter to the reader at the beginning of the book mentioning the idea of the book came from a dream. Would you like to share how the book came to you and evolved?

D:  Every book comes to me from somewhere but this is the first one that started with a flash, a very vivid video playing in my head as I crawled into bed one evening. Then throughout the night, it just kept playing repeatedly until finally I had to sit up, pull out a pad of paper that I always keep in the nightstand and started writing. Essentially the first chapter that you read in Never Tempt Danger is that dream.

M:  In your bio on your site, you can visit HERE, you mention you have some technological and computer background. Does this help you in writing and help gear the subject of the books?

D:  Such a great question and the short answer is. . .yes! Every author has his or her niche in some form or fashion and I like to think that mine is the ability to blend technology without getting too technical. Spin the unbelievable but very real technology into a tale of suspense, because who does not like to be hanging on the edge of the cliff by their fingernails, and add a dash of spicy romance to make your heart go pitter-patter and all of this creates what I call a techno-romantic thriller.

M:  Authors range vastly with when they started writing and I'm always curious to hear when authors pick up the pen. When did you start writing?

D:  I started writing when I was a kid. I used to, much as I did with Never Tempt Danger, wake up in the middle of the night and write my creative writing story for school. When I got into high school I considered going into journalism and maybe going on to write sports columns or some such thing, but then he thought of having to write what someone else wanted me to turned me off. OH! That sounds so bad, but I’m the same way with reading. I started loving reading when the teachers stopped telling me what to read. As do most kids.

I actually started writing my novel though, not when I was a teen, or even in college, but when I was married and out of work. It was like a lightning strike. I picked up laptop and just started writing and did not stop. Well, okay, I did slow down once I went back to work, but I finished that story and it is the first book I ever had published. It’s called It Happens in Threes.

M:  In any of your books, was there one scene that was tough for you to write? Or one that was fun for you to write?

D:  In my current novel that I am writing I had a blast writing the opening chapter where a smalltown police chief is getting dressed in women’s clothes to go stand on the street corner in drag in the hopes of catching a criminal. That is just the beginning. This poor police chief gets caught still wearing some of the undergarments when he goes home with a woman. Look for Phish NET Stalkings later this year.

In Never Tempt Danger, there were many scenes that I enjoyed writing. I love a good chase scene, a good love scene, and in Never Tempt Danger I truly had fun writing the scenes that Gilly’s grandfather, Frank, was involved in. Who doesn’t love a good old coot, especially an Irish one who has the same gift as his granddaughter.

I will tell you that the most difficult scene I have ever written was in Connect the Dots. It’s a scene where the heroine, a CIA Intelligence Operative, is abducted and stolen away to a military black site and then tortured. Don’t worry, it’s not too graphical, but it was hard to imagine what that person would be feeling. Hopefully, I pulled it off.

M:  There are a few sex scenes in Never Tempt Danger. I have heard these can be very delicate scenes to write in books. Do you feel this could make or break a book for the reader on how they are written?

D:  This is my opinion, but a sex scene can only make or break a book if it doesn’t fit in the storyline. The sex can be outrageous or sweet, or hot and heavy, and this is irrelevant (Uh, hm, I mean, well. . . ). What I mean to say is that the sex or love scene has to make sense as to where it comes in. If a sex scene is just thrown in for filler then the effect is lost and you’ve thrown the reader for a loop. At the same time, I like a good love scene. Why? Because love, romance, and sex are all a part of real life and isn’t our goal to make a story and those characters seem real?

M:  Are there any authors who have inspired you to write, or in your content you write?

D:  The list is numerous. Linda Howard’s books are what kicked off my inspiration to write a novel and to write romantic-suspense, but it was authors like Carla Neggers, David Baldacci, and John Sandford who had me seeking my own niche and weaving in the government side of intrigue. I also have a longtime friend that I can always reach out to when I need an answer to something. Shh. That’s a secret. [wink-wink]

M:  What was the last book you read? Whats next on the shelf?

D:  I am currently reading In Their Footsteps by Tess Gerritsen. I have about seven books in my to-be-read pile and at the top is David Baldacci’s Hell’s Corner. In the car I listen to audiobooks instead of the radio and currently I am listening to Elizabeth Lowell’s historical romance Forbidden.

M:  Any advice to aspiring writers, regarding anything from writing to publishing?

D:  Write! Sounds silly, but it is simple and true. If you want to be a writer then you have to write. Write anything from something that happened to you that day to a local event that sparked some controversy, to a poem or short story that keeps playing in your head. Put the words down on paper or online. Start a blog, share your writing, and get exposure. Let people know you and your writing.

If your ultimate goal is to get published then send your story out. Polish it up, follow the rules and guidelines on each publisher’s website and send it in. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And let me be the first to tell you that it is so much fun to be on the other side. Can I quit my day job? No, but I don’t write for the thought of getting rich, but for the love of writing, and hopefully neither do you.

M:  A fun question, If you could go anywhere in the world where would you like to go?

D:  Funny you should ask. I am going to Ireland in March. It’s the first time in a very long time that I am going out of the country, but this is a trip that I cannot wait to take. My plan is to finish my current novel I am writing before then so I can start my next novel on my flight over to Ireland. Then I am going to stay in a lovely cottage, explore the seaside, the countryside, and the many pubs and people of Kenmare, Ireland.

I wanted to do something different for this post, something not necessarily about me as the writer, but more about me the person. You know, the kinds of questions that if you could meet a person face-to-face you would ask them or want to know about them. I hope you enjoy this!

Things I like to do:
I am a sun baby so summer time is my favorite season. I enjoy planting flowers, more flowers, and even more flowers. I am a flower junkie and secretly I crave playing in the dirt. Of course, give me an ocean and you will find me swimming with the fishies.

I am a closet interior decorator. Shh. If this gets out people will want me to help them. Not kidding! I hate seeing a barren room that all it requires is a little love and attention and maybe some fresh paint and a few pictures on the walls.

I love grilling outside. Actually, I like when someone else does the cooking and I get to sit back and watch while enjoying my deck that I stained and painted all by myself and a beer or a glass of champagne then reap the benefits of a meal cooked by someone else’s hands.

I like taking drives. I think I have wanderlust in me. Sometimes I just like getting in the car, packing a bag of potato chips and a soda, maybe my camera, and going exploring some place that I have heard of but never visited.

Most embarrassing moment(s):
Oh-my-gosh! I can say that I have had at least two if not more. One happened when I was on a late night flight back from the west coast. I had to use the lavatory and forgot to lock the door. Of course, you know what happened. Someone and yes it had to be a guy that opened the door while I was sitting on the toilet.

Another time I was at work quite a few years ago when I had to use the ladies’ room. No, some guy did not walk in on me. Instead, I walked from the outer hallway, past the front desk and several classrooms before entering my classroom (I used to teach computer technologies). All was fine until I went to write on the whiteboard. Let us just say that I showed my wears, my underwear that is. I had accidentally tucked my skirt into my stockings and let’s just say that the ten men and one woman had quite the show of my backside until the lady hinted to me what had happened. The interesting thing is that at the end of the class, I received straight 10s for my teaching score and the guys all chipped in to buy me a calendar.

Things I have done for a living:
I have almost always worked in technology, but have had a few detours along the way or a few additions to my day job. I once worked as a receptionist at a CPR firm. I’ve waited tables and have the utmost respect for those who work on their feet and serve people for a living for very little. I started my own consulting and training business and kept that for almost five years when I decided the traveling was too much and I preferred to sleep at home in my own bed. About the same time I started writing my first novel I also began my career as a chocolatier and yes, I do say so myself I make the cutest chocolate lollipops that some people have referred to as edible art. I don’t do this as a side business anymore but I still make them for friends and family whenever they ask.

Interesting experiences:
Skydiving (because I wanted to experience a rush)
Scuba diving (I was even married underwater)
Rattlesnake roundup (even ate the rattlesnake afterwards)
Hanging drywall (wanted to finish off my basement so why not do it myself)
Taking singing lessons (uh, not too many people know this as I have yet to sing in public)
Learned to sew (made handbags, quilts, and curtains)
Make chocolate (My largest order was over 400 hockey player lollipops for the Manchester Monarchs hockey team)
Tried glass blowing (made 3 paperweights, 2 Christmas trees, and a rose)
Pretty much my theory is, “If it sounds interesting or I want it done then why not try it myself.”

Thanks Melissa for having me here today. I’ve enjoyed meeting your readers, answering a few questions, and sharing a little bit more about myself.

Thank you Denise!  I am so glad you shared some great personal things with us.  I am so sorry to hear about the skirt in your stockings.  But I am glad to hear others have done it. :) Thank you!

I hope you all have enjoyed the interview.  Now as I mentioned in the title, it is time for a Giveaway!


I have a signed copy of Never Tempt Danger here on my desk to be sent to one lucky commenter.  Here are the rules:

~~ US or Canada Entries Only.  Sorry all, I have the copy here and will be mailing personally.
~~ Leave a comment here.  Comment about her experiences, do you share any of the same, or just say Hello to Denise. +1

Easy as that.  Just comment and you are entered.  One entry.  Now there are others out there that like the extra entries so I'll give you a few, and it would be nice to help a kind author out with some view time.

~~ Comment on my Review, HERE, +2
~~ Tweet, Blog, or link on your Side bar.  +3
    You can copy this to Twitter if you would like:
        I WANT to Tempt Danger! With NEVER TEMPT DANGER by @dkrobbins GIVEAWAY @MelLHay blog
~~ Follow Denise on Twitter @dkrobbins
~~ Follow Me by Google Reader  +2

***Please Remember to leave all links and your Twitter handle if you are following Denise.
***Please Remember to leave me a way to contact you if you win.

Giveaway will end January 18, 2011 11:59pm EST and winner will be announced shortly after with the help of


  1. That was a very interesting interview. I have always wanted to try glass blowing, I love the way it looks. I would love to read the book, it sounds really good.

  2. Fun interview! Between this & your review, NEVER TEMPT DANGER has been added to my (oh-so-long!) TBR list.

    I *almost* had the tucked-skirt accident, myself, at church yesterday... As I walked out of the bathroom, I did a little shimmy to re-settle my jacket on my shoulders, and I noticed a bit of chill on my left thigh. Quickly backing up, I found I'd come *thisclose* to flashing the congregation. Whew! NOT the way I would've wanted to start my year! :p

  3. Grilled anything is right up my alley. In Hawaii, there is a wood we use ti give our food that extra flavor. Fortunate for me- my husband would never allows me near his precious steaks so i always get to kick back and reap the benefits. =D

    Rattlesnake roundup. The only snakes Ive seen were at the Zoo. I see a lot of snakes (I forgot the name) on hikes here but they look like worms really. How do you do it? I'd be running far away.

    In regards to your writing- I really like that this books has come from a dream. Weird as it may be I do most of my problem solving and creations in my sleep. So I find it very fascinating to hear.

    =) Thanks for a great interview and love the personal stuff.


  4. Hey Denise this sounds like a really good book and I would love to read and review it for my page on facebook. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    I am following you on twitter:

    and posted there as well.

    Autum Frailey
    My Home Away From Home

  5. Okay, I read the whole interview, but all I can think about is those chocolate lollys. Must be lunch time. :) I have this book on my tbr and can't wait to get to it! So, don't enter me. I just wanted to stop by, read the interview, say hi and drool over chocolate. :D

  6. Autumn - Thanks for the follow. I will follow you back.

    ♫♥LovLivLife Reviews♥♫ - with a really long stick with a hook and a sack.

    Rissatoo - I was living in FL at the time and felt no draft. :-)

    Debbie - You have got to try the glassblowing!

    Melissa - Glad to hear the book is on your TBR pile.

  7. Hi :)
    Thank you for the excellent interview. I enjoyed the questions (you had some great ones!) and am deeply appreciative to Denise for the thoughtful & interesting answers.
    THIS is how an interview should go.
    All the best,

  8. Fun interview! It was very brave of Denise Robbins to share those embarrassing experiences ;) Unfortunately I can't enter the giveaway, being outside of the Us, but would like to give this book a try someday.


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