Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Author Anna James Interview and Giveaway a Copy of Guilty as Charged to one Lucky Reader

Gladiator's Pen welcomes Author Anna James to the Arena! She's here to talk about her latest release Guilty As Charged : Book One of The Bradford Sisters Trilogy.  One lucky reader will get a free ebook! All you have to do is leave a comment below and we'll draw the name of our lucky reader on Midnight Wed. May 25th. The winner will be announced in a post on Thursday the 26th so keep an eye here!

Now prop up your feet and pour a fresh cup we'll get acquainted with Anna James and find out more about Guilty As Charged. And don't forget to comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook!

Your latest book Guilty As Charged was just released on April 16tt. Please tell us about it:

Guilty As Charged
is the first book in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy.
Nicole Bradford, the heroine, has had the responsibility of raising her two sisters since their parents died in a tragic accident seven years ago. Now her sisters are all grown up and she can finally concentrate on a life of her own.
Max Paradis, the hero, is returning home after two long years away. He left to escape the pain of a bitter divorce.  He’s back because he misses his family and friends. It’s time to start over.
Passion ignites between Nicole and Max the second they lay eyes on each other. Nicole is sweet and loving is sweet and loving and everything that Max is looking for. But when a secret from her past is revealed will she be found innocent or is she guilty as charged?

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

I have two. Here is a short excerpt from both for your reading pleasure:

Favorite scene 1: There’s no one here, she noted as she got out of the car and made her way to the lobby door, although she hadn’t really expected anyone to be. She held her employee badge to the scanner. There was a buzzing sound and a click indicating the door was now unlocked. After retrieving the files from her office, she went to the conference room. There was a large table in there, which had plenty of room for her to spread out the information she needed to look at.

Several hours passed by and her stomach began to growl. It’s one-thirty now, she noted after a quick glance at her watch. It’s time for something to eat. Standing, she stretched from side to side, then walked down the hall to get the lunch she’d thrown together hastily before leaving this morning. A piece of leftover lasagna from Thursday’s dinner and the rest of the salad they’d had. She stopped at the microwave to heat the lasagna, then went back to the conference room to eat. Her eyes rounded when she noticed someone sitting at the table, his back facing her.

“Excuse me, can I help you?” The man turned around and gave her a brilliant smile. She frowned. “M-Max? But how? I thought you were out of the country?”

“Not anymore,” he drawled.

She had recognized him from the picture in Reed’s office, but he probably had no idea who she was. “I’m sorry, I’m N—”

Rising to his feet he said, “I know who you are. Reed told me all about you on the phone last night. But how did you recognize me? We’ve never met.”

Nicole blushed. “Oh, um, I’ve seen pictures—on Reed’s desk.”

“I see.”

“I don’t understand what you’re doing here. I thought you were calling from
Saudi Arabia last night?”

“I was on the plane heading home, actually. When Reed told me about the engagement, I told him I would meet you here today.”

“But why? I don’t understand. Reed never said anything.”

He walked slowly to where she was standing, never once dropping his gaze from her. “You know, my brother didn’t do you justice when he described you. You’re not just beautiful—you’re gorgeous.”

Her eyes widened in astonishment. She didn’t quite know how to respond to a statement like that. No one had ever said anything like that to her before. She lowered her lashes and murmured hesitantly, “Thank you.”

She had always thought that Max was good-looking, but to see him in person, he was spectacular. He was taller than Reed—who was just under six feet—by about three or four inches. His eyes were a deep blue and mesmerizing, which drew her eyes back to his. His hair was thick, luxuriant and
midnight black. She itched to run her fingers through it.

He tucked a stray lock of her own rich, chestnut hair behind her ear. The small gesture made her realize just how close he was to her; close enough that she could smell a hint of the expensive cologne he was wearing. She inhaled deeply. His head lowered to hers. He’s going to kiss me, she acknowledged inwardly. And I’m not going to try and stop him because I want him to. From the first moment she’d seen him in the picture on Reed’s desk, she’d wondered what it would be like to be kissed by him. His lips met hers and she closed her eyes and gave herself up to pure bliss. She lifted her arms around his neck and he pulled her closer. He’s an incredible kisser, she acknowledged dizzily, and that was the last coherent thought she had as he deepened the kiss.

Favorite scene 2: The door to Reed’s office burst open, crashing against the adjoining wall. Reed looked up. Nicole turned to see who had made all the noise. Max stood in the opening, a thunderous expression on his face.

“Well, big brother, what can we do for you?” Reed queried in a casual tone.

Max didn’t answer; he just stood glaring at Nicole.

“M–Max, you’re home early.”

“Surprise,” he said sarcastically.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Reed asked.

Instead of answering, he strode into the room and stopped in front of Nicole. 

Suddenly, she was on full alert. She noticed the large manila envelope in his hand. The letterhead on the front made her sick with shock.

“Care to explain this?” he drawled, his tone at odds with the aggression emanating from every fiber of his being.

“What is it?” Reed asked a confused look on his face.

It was what she feared most. Legal documents, containing, no doubt, her arrest record and everything else about that horrible incident that had happened so long ago.

“Well?” Max asked ominously.

Nicole couldn’t speak. What could she say? It was all there in black and white.

After several moments of electrifying silence, Max turned his attention to Reed. “Are you aware you’ve hired a convicted felon, little brother?”

“I am not a convicted felon.”

He turned toward her. “I stand corrected, you were never convicted, however¾” Nicole made to speak, but Max overrode her efforts. His attention was on Reed again as he continued. “As I was saying, are you aware that you’ve hired a drug smuggler?”

Reed’s eyes opened wide and Nicole cringed in her seat.

She shot to her feet. “That’s enough.  You know nothing about what happened.”

“Oh, you’re ex-lover Carlo was more than happy to tell me what happened when he met me at the airport this morning. He told me what you’re really like. You present this sweet, innocent fa├žade to the world, but these—” He picked up one of the documents that lay strewn across the desk and threw it at her. “These tell the truth about who you really are.”

“Max, you can’t be serious. There’s got to be some mistake.”

“There’s no mistake, little brother. See, she’s not even going to deny it.”

Nicole glared at him, furious now, her body shaking with anger. “You think just because…” Her voice trailed off.  She threw her hands in the air, a gesture of defeat, and then slumped into her chair. What was the use in trying to explain?  He wasn’t going to believe her. No one had believed her before. No matter how hard she had tried to convince them that she was innocent of any wrongdoing. She stood again and addressed Reed. “You’ll have my resignation on your desk tomorrow morning. I’m sorry.”  She turned and walked out the door with her head held high.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t write chapters sequentially. If I get a scene into my head I get it down on paper then go back during the editing process to make sure I have a cohesive story.

What do you think is the most important to remember when writing romance?

For me a story has to have passion, drama and romance. And, of course it has to have a happy ending.

Do you plot/outline a book before writing or write by the seat of your pants?
I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t use an outline but I do mull things over in my mind so that I have some kind of sequence of events but, as I mentioned above, I don’t necessarily write the chapters in sequence.

Have you always written romance or do you write other genres as well?

I have always written contemporary romance, although, I just finished a story that has a paranormal flavor to it. It’s entitled Visions and is out for consideration now (I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my toes for good measure!)
What do you feel is the hardest part about writing or being a writer?

Getting published! 

If you could have a dinner- date with one of your heroes which one would it be and why?

That’s a tough one because I like all my heroes, but I think I’d like to have a romantic dinner with Max Paradis – the hero from Guilty As Charged. He’s a pretty sexy guy!

What is your favorite word?


If your book Guilty As Charged were to be made into a movie, who would you pick to play your hero and heroine?

Rachel McAdams for the heroine- Nicole Bradford
Patrick Dempsey for the hero – Max Paradis 

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?


Do you have any upcoming events? 
Right now I am on a blogging tour and chatting at some of my yahoo groups. Stop by my blog for updates on my locations. See the tab marked: “Calendar of Events” http://annajames1.wordpress.com/
I am hoping to have a book signing party in Mystic, CT over the summer but have not been able to firm up the date at this point on time. Check my blog for updates. See the tab marked:
“Calendar of Events”

Anna James can be found on:

Yahoo Groups: 

 Guilty as Charged is available at:

Thank you so much Anna for joining us in the arena and sharing your book with us. Anna will be back for another visit in July so mark your calendars! 

Readers don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win your E copy of Guilty As Charged! 



Brenda Kezar said...

I have the same writing quirk! I tend to write whatever scene is striking my fancy that particular day, and then tie them all smoothly together during revision.

To put a nice spin on it, I call it the "stringing pearls" method, lol!

flchen1 said...

Mmm.... chocolate! And great excerpts, Anna! Thanks for the interview and the taste of the Bradford Sisters first story!