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Welcome Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock

What a fantastic lineup we have today! Critique partners Joanne Rock and Catherine
Mann stop by for a visit while they discuss their September releases- GUARDIAN
for Cathy and FULL SURRENDER for Joanne.
Tell me how you got started writing military
romance? How many books have you written?
CM: Hi Sharon!  Thanks so much for having us here today to visit on your
blog!  In answer to your questions,
my hubby served in the Air Force for over 20 years as an aviator.  So USAF heroes are a natural fit for
me.  I’ve written over fifty novels
for Harlequin, Berkley and Sourcebooks.
JR: I started penning military heroes when
Harlequin Blaze began their popular “Uniformly Hot!” miniseries. I’d been a
little in love with Cathy’s military heroes for years and thought I’d try
writing one of my own. She has been a wonderful resource for me. I’ve written
over sixty books in a variety of formats counting digital releases (like
Harlequin Historical “Undone” stories) and novellas.
Why do you think these Alpha military heroes (and
heroines) are so popular? What makes them heroes?

CM: Alpha military heroes are the go-to guys in a
crisis, the ultimate protectors. 
Yes, they can be a bit arrogant with their swagger and confidence needed
for extreme circumstances.  But
that makes finding the marshmallow side of any alpha hero oh-so rewarding and heart
JR: I think military heroes have experienced a real
surge of interest as so many of our friends, family and neighbors have spent
time in deployments in the last decade. They are heroes because of their
selfless service, and reading their stories is a way to celebrate all they do
for us.
How do you compliment the heroine to a strong alpha
military guy? Do you write them strong? Compliant? Kick-butt?

CM: Absolutely the heroine must be equally as
strong, but her strengths may be in other arenas.  Dare I say it…? 
They complete each other.
JR: What Cathy said! I like looking at character
profiles like horoscopes, enneagrams or
even Myers-Briggs
personality indicators to remind myself what “types” of characters complement
others. I find it fun to play with those types to see how one bolsters the
Do you like writing in series, or single?

CM:  I
definitely lean toward writing connected stories.  That’s also another reason it’s awesome to have such a
stellar long-time critique partner like Joanne.  She knows all my stories and all my characters.  While I don’t expect her to remember
every detail, it’s very helpful that she’s familiar with the “world” I’ve built
in a series.  Joanne is a
brainstorming maven and I’ve been the lucky recipient in many a looooong phone
JR: I don’t have the same long standing connections
in my books that Cathy has created, mostly because I am continually charmed by
new kinds of stories (suspense one day, a time travel another) and that makes
longer series more difficult to pull off. But I do love connected books. FULL
SURRENDER is loosely linked to several other stories following the Murphy
Who is your favorite character you’ve created? Why?

How about I choose some of my favorite couples in Joanne’s books?  I especially enjoyed the chemistry
between Navy Lt. Brad Riddock (explosives expert) and Nikki Thornton (professor
chronicling her aunt’s erotic diaries) in HIGHLY CHARGED.  And Joanne’s book UNDER WRAPS has awesomely
crafted secondary characters as well – a rocking awesome strength Joanne brings
to her stories.
JR: How cool for you to remember those secondary
characters in Under Wraps, Cathy!! I
particularly enjoyed Cathy’s risk-taking “Postal” Ruznick and Dr. Grace Marie
because of the way they balanced each other out (and I love a hero who’s “on
the edge”). But I also loved Kate Harper in HIS THIRTY-DAY FIANCEE,
who scales the hero’s mansion walls for a photo op. I wish I’d written this
gutsy heroine with so much at stake!
If you could have a date with one of your
characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?

I’m going to flip the question again and choose one of Joanne’s
heroes.  I adore Lucian Barrett in
her medieval historical THE
WEDDING KNIGHT. I fell in love with that hero from the first line and
adored him through every stage of his character’s healing and redemption.  I would go ANYWHERE with a man like
him. J
JR: Oh this is fun. I’m going to ask for Hugh
Franco from HOT ZONE
because underneath the darkly magnetic charm, he is so selfless and dedicated.
This is true of so many of Cathy’s heroes, but with Hugh, I felt like we got a
glimpse of his heart early on and I loved that.
Tell us something about you that most people
wouldn’t know or guess about you?
JR: I am a soft spoken girly-girl who likes pretty
things, but I am married to an earthy man’s man who is an extroverted, noisy
sports fanatic. He is the most surprising thing about me!
CM:  I
love to swim – pool, river, ocean – but I do not dive.  The thought of plunging head first into
the water freaks me out. And while Joanne says there’s nothing surprising about
her, I’m not letting her off the hook that easily!  I know that on vacation she once trekked a narrow rocky path
along a cliff wall behind a waterfall. 
She’s FAR more daring than I am!
JR: Only because
my husband coerced me into it!!
What have you read recently that you enjoyed?
JR: I adored Winnie Griggs’ HANDPICKED HUSBAND (HQ
Love Inspired Historical, September 2012) and Maya Rodale’s THE TATTOOED DUKE
(Avon, Feb. 2012).
CM: One of my favorite parts of being an author is
getting ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) from other authors.  Over past few months, I lucked into
three really wonderful ARCs I highly recommend:
Julie Walker’s HELL ON WHEELS(Aug 2012), the launch
book for her “Black Knights, Inc. series.
Virginia Kantra’s first “Dare Island” book,
CAROLINA HOME (July 2012).
And just this week I read the latest in Holly
Jacob’s “Everything But…” series called EVERYTHING BUT A DOG (Dec 2012).
What are you working on now?

LOL!  Today, I’m a bit
scattered, juggling a bunch of different projects at once – plotting a synopsis
for my next “Alpha Brotherhood” book, writing my next “Elite Force” PJ book,
and working on a super-secret project I’m not talking about yet. 😉
JR: I’ll let you in on a not-so-super-secret
tidbit… Cathy’s “scattered” days are more productive than most people’s average
days! She is a creative force to be reckoned with and I love to hold out a net
and catch the ideas that spark whenever she’s around. As for me, I revised a
Blaze (with Cathy’s final tweaking help!) and submitted it to my editor for
release next June. It’s a bit different for me because while the hero’s point
of view is told in traditional third person, we get to meet the heroine via
first person. It was really fun to write.
CM: And Joanne’s latest Blaze was really fun to
read!  How cool that I get an
advance peek at her stories and can call that “work”!  (Okay, I know technically I already answered this question
but I just had to pop in after Joanne’s last post.)
Thanks again for having us here, Sharon!  Your questions were great fun!  And for the folks visiting today,
what’s something we would be surprised to learn about YOU?  One lucky commenter will be chosen at
random to win a copy of both FULL SURRENDER by Joanne Rock and GUARDIAN by
Catherine Mann.

Ladies, it’s been my complete pleasure having you here today. I’m a gushing fan, and I agree these military alpha heroes are the best of the best. I share your joy that we get to write and celebrate these wonderful men and women.

Please be sure to leave your comments below with your coded email so you can win these fantastic reads. And let’s show these ladies some love!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
USA Today bestselling
author Catherine Mann writes military romantic suspense for Berkley and
Sourcebooks, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin.  A RITA Award winner (and six time RITA
nominee) Catherine lives in the Florida panhandle with her flyboy husband,
their kids and a menagerie of shelter pets.

Joanne Rock writes contemporary romance and medieval historicals for a variety
of Harlequin lines. She looks forward to the release of a Young Adult romance
series in the summer of 2013 under the pseudonym JK Rock with her
sister-in-law, Karen. When she’s not reading or writing, Joanne is on the
bleachers cheering for one of her three sons who are continuously involved in
sports too numerous to mention.
Joanne Rock
Catherine Mann

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. I just want to say I love both authors. I am especially addicted to all of Catherine Mann's series. My all time favorite is the Wingman Series. I hope that she will do books on the children of these lovable fly boys & their families. I am such a sucker for military & special op guys!

    1. Hi Michel! Wow, did you ever ask that question about Wingmen Warrior kids all grown up at the right time. 🙂 Remember Zach Dawson's daughter Shelby from UNDER SIEGE? Well, she gets her story this November in a Christmas anthology – "Home for Christmas" in the anthology RESCUING CHRISTMAS. (Zach and Julia are in the book as well. 🙂 Thanks bunches!!

    2. Thank you, Sharon!! So happy you enjoyed GUARDIAN!! I hope you enjoy my Wingmen Warriors as well – they were Silhouette Intimate Moments books and have all been reissued in ebook. It's been a treat to hear readers talking about them again ten years after the series started. 🙂

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you so much for putting our books on your TBR list. 🙂 Please do drop me a note and let me know what you think – I'm always hanging out on Facebook or I can be reached through my website. Happy reading!

  2. Michel, you'll be happy to know that Cathy's penned a story for Zach Dawson's daughter that will be out for the holidays! So exciting to have a peek into the lives of those Wingmen. And I agree… fantastic series!

    1. Welcome Pennie. So glad you came by today. Good luck getting that library re-set. That can be a job, but yes, finding things we loved in the past is like finding old friends!

      Come back again.

  3. Hi Pennie! I can't imagine what a big endeavor it would be to move a book lovers' library :-0. Sounds like a big project! But I'm so glad to hear there were some great finds in there. And thank you soooo much for the kind words!!

  4. Pennie, while moving all those books sounds time consuming, it also sounds like such fun to re-live the stories book by book as you look at each cover. 🙂 Makes me want to reorganize my shelves just to re-experience all I have on there! LOL!

  5. Thanks for the interesting interview. Something unusual about me is that my husband and I are both left handed but both our children are right handed.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  6. I'll be that is unusual, Maureen! I tried to learn knitting from my left handed mom (I'm right handed) and wow, did we have trouble :-). We agreed that wasn't going to work and I would just admire her knitting from afar. But then, I have a lot of trouble with right/left and spatial direction as well. When I need to give directions, I tend to point a lot.

    I know Cathy is thinking about different times when I drove in circles trying to get us somewhere…

  7. Sorry I'm late! Fabulous interview, ladies! I am a huge fan of both of yours!! I'm so honored to have been invited as a guest on Sharon's blog this week with you! Thank you so much for continuing to write such fabulous books for your readers!! We truly appreciate it 🙂 I look forward to many, many more!

    1. Jennifer, thanks for helping make these past 10 days a huge hit. These guys were so great with their creative take on my questions. And so generous with their time.

      Nice to see you here.

  8. Winner!!! Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by! We really appreciate it and thank you to Sharon for having us!

    Our winner for the thread prize is Maureen! We will be in touch privately, but all you need to do is send a mailing address to me at and we'll send out copies of GUARDIAN and FULL SURRENDER asap!

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