Jumping for Joy at Torrey Pines State Beach

The Joy of Christmas

I love December. It feels so different than all the other months. I get plenty of joy from seeing how excited my hot Spanish wife gets when December rolls around.

I love that big smile on her face as she decorates the tree. I love to see her eyes light up when her favorite Christmas songs come on the radio. I get even more joy when she sings along—I could listen to her all night.

But one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is watching movies with her. Cuddled up on the couch with a blanket, we  typically watch five or six Hallmark Christmas movies a week on television, plus maybe a favorite or two from our DVD collection. It’s easy since we have the exact same taste in books and movies. Romance, baby! The joy of Christmas is something special, but I’m lucky enough to also have the joy of marriage and the joy of having the most amazing woman in my life.

What brings you joy? Do you do anything special to celebrate the holidays? Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of my Christmas romantic comedy, Kiss Me in the Snow. plus twenty-nine other books AND a $150 gift card. Winners will be announced on Christmas Eve. Increase your chances of winning by entering via the Rafflecopter HERE. For a list of all the authors participating and for more chances to enter, go here: http://bit.ly/2A4bbkK. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Jumping for Joy in San Francisco

I really got some lift on this one. If you look closely, you will see that I jumped over the Golden Gate Bridge. 🙂

Jumping for Joy in Half Moon Bay, California.

Jumping for Joy in Málaga, Spain.

An Interview with Catherine Bybee

Catherine Bybee

I’m excited to have Catherine Bybee with me today—a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon best selling author. Before I was published I read Not Quite Dating and loved it! 🙂 Since then I’ve enjoyed several of her books and have watched her popularity explode in the contemporary romance world.

I’ve bumped into Catherine more than a few times at the Romance Writers of America National Conference, as well as at several author events in San Jose and San Francisco. She has been generous with advice to those starting out in the industry. She believes in paying it forward. 🙂 Before I get to the interview, here’s her Bio.

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating from high school, she moved to Southern California with hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the MacCoinnich Time Travel series as well as the Weekday Brides series.

Rich: Welcome, Catherine! I’m so excited to have you here today! Please make yourself comfortable. Can I get you a glass of your favorite wine?

Catherine: Is the Pope Catholic? Of course you can . . . something red, please.

Rich: You got it. Here’s a little Manchego cheese to go with that. Okay, let’s get started. I first want to start off talking about friendships. There’s an old saying, “You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” You seemed to have chosen very well. I read somewhere that you have friends that go as far back as elementary school. Please email any three friends right now and ask them each to describe you in one sentence. I apologize in advance for giving you homework.

Here’s what Catherine’s friends said . . .

Kari: “Catherine is funny, warm, loving and a loyal person and friend.” Kari also said “She’s transparent, beautiful inside and out . . .” but she’s not a writer and couldn’t figure out how to put all that in one sentence. (All her words)

Marina: “That’s an awful lot of awesome fit in one sentence.”

Sharon: “Catherine is sassy, strong, take-charge, but caring and loves others without compromise.”

Rich: You have indeed chosen your friends well. It’s obvious they love you very much. Speaking of being popular . . . You are currently ranked among the Top 50 authors in the entire world. Crazy and amazing! How does it feel to know that over two million people are enjoying your books?

Catherine: Humbling is the short answer to your question. And super grateful, too. I never saw myself where I am today. I mean, I guess I saw it, but I had no idea how it would feel to be in Bybee’s shoes until I put them on.

Rich: Since we are on the topic of shoes, it is commonly heard that they make the man. What is the first thing you usually notice about a guy?

Catherine: His smile. No, really . . . because guys can look good everywhere but if they aren’t smiling that’s a total “Left Swipe” for me.

Rich: Good to know. Hopefully you notice the big smile on my face as I ask this next question. 🙂 What were you like in high school?

Catherine: I was a mix and a mess in high school. I was too afraid to do anything truly crazy for fear of getting caught, but I was balsy enough to assert myself when I knew I was right.

Me with Catherine Bybee in San Diego at the RWA conference.

Rich: Describe your perfect day.

Catherine: Right now? One without the beeping noise of construction that isn’t going to improve my home at all . . . rain without risk . . . and quiet writing time.

Rich: Oooh. Quiet writing time is always nice. Tell me something most people would be surprised to know about you.

Catherine: I know the taste of government cheese and was once in foster care as a child.

Rich: Yup. You surprised me with that one. You’ve come a long way and I love how you believe in paying it forward. Let’s talk a little about your writing process. Do you have daily word count goals? Any quirky writing habits? Do you write in the same place every day?

Catherine: My daily count is math. How many words left in my manuscript divided by days left until deadline minus known days off.

PS . . . I hate math!

No habits, really, as evidence by the fact that I’m always frazzled that I won’t finish the book before deadline. And the truth is, this past year a couple of my books have been late.

I write on my MacBook as well as my desk top . . . depends on what stage of the book I’m in and if I need to lock an office door to get anything done.

Rich: LOL. I think we’ve all had our days of frazzlement. Is that a word? Hey, I think I just made up a word! Moving on . . . What are you working on now?

Catherine: The first book in the spin off series from the Brides. And that’s all I’m saying until this is done and turned in. 🙂

Rich: Well, don’t let me keep you. Get back to work! And thanks so much for stopping by!

Catherine: Thanks for having me, Rich. Meeting you and Silvi has been a highlight in my career. Lucky for me, I have the opportunity to meet lots of writers and readers and I’m always thrilled when those people are just as genuine in person as they are online.

Rich: Awww. That’s very sweet. Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

Connect with Catherine Bybee online

Facebook

Twitter

Website

All of Catherine’s Books on Amazon

Local Literature Day at the San Jose Public Library

We were thrilled to attend the Local Literature Day event at the San Jose Public Library. I signed copies of my books and sat on a panel where readers had a chance to ask questions about writing and publishing romance novels. 🙂

A new sweet contemporary romance!

I’m so excited to announce that my hot Spanish wife, Silvi Martin, has a new sweet contemporary romance out! I’m so proud of her because it’s her second book in the Coronado Island series. It’s called The News Girl. I love the story and I’m sure you will too! 🙂

Book Descriptionnews-girl-copy

Free-spirited reporter Mia Carrera doesn’t believe in fairy tales or in dating single fathers. After her boyfriend dumps her to go back with his ex, Mia quits her job and moves to Coronado Island. She’s determined to make a fresh start at the local paper and become the star reporter she knows she is, only to discover that her new boss is the heartless man who fired her ten years ago in New York.

Single father Alex Mitchell recently accepted the position of editor-in-chief of the Coronado Eagle & Journal. His stable life is challenged with the arrival of new reporter Mia Carrera, the feisty dark-haired rebel who manages to push his buttons in and out of the office.

When their worlds collide, an undeniable attraction develops between them as they drive each other crazy.

Will the magic of a small island bring them together, or will life pull them apart once again?

Grab a Kindle copy of the book here and enjoy! 🙂

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