Congratulations to Bobbi Kinion for winning the gift card from Wine and Chat with me and Kate Angell.
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Wine and Chat with Cait Jarrod and Kate Angell, author of Richmond Rogues and Barefoot William series
I ordered a cup of coffee and a blueberry scone from the quirky woman with colorful hair waiting on me.
Quirky…purple hair…She’s Risk’s wife! Risk Kincaid, the irresistible baseball player, who made me fall in love with the Richmond Rogues series. I didn’t expect to actually see her when I asked Kate Angell to meet at Jacy’s Java.
She studied me and tilted her head. “You’re Cait Jarrod? You’re meeting Kate?”
“I am.” I smile, loving how she knew who I was.
“I expect Kate any second. The guys are so excited you decided to have the interview here. They’re waiting in the corner.” She pointed in the direction of a group of men. I recognized her husband Risk, Zen Driscoll, Psycho McMillan, Kason Rhodes, and James Lawless. The Richmond Rogues!
The group waved and winked. My heart pounded. Good-looking, fit. “Eye candy.”
Purple-haired Jacy laughed and placed my order on the counter, the scone in a bag. “They are.”
“How much?” I ask, pulling out my wallet to pay.
“Oh, no.” She waved her hand. “My treat since you’ll have your hands full trying to keep the guys away from Kate. I’ve warned them to let her talk to you alone.”
A commotion broke out toward the front of the store.
I sip my coffee and gaze. Two players open the door while the rest stood single file as if they’re getting ready to sing the Star Spangled Banner before a game. Instantly, I know the person with the wide grin and glow entering is Kate. Though she and I had exchanged emails, we hadn’t met.
I approach, wait for the baseball players to hug and kiss her cheek, before stretching out my hand. “You draw quite the crowd.” I grin. “I’m Cait Jarrod. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“We finally connect!” Kate says, “Thanks for coming to the coffee shop.”
Jacy advances and claps her hands together a couple times. “Okay, guys, let Kate and Cait do their thing.”
Grumbling, they mosey back to their seats.
“Thanks, Jacy,” I say and face Kate. “Let’s sit on the opposite side.”
“There’s an orange retro table available in the corner,” Kate offers.
We settle. Jacy brings over coffee and a banana nut muffin and gives the guys a warning glare over her shoulder before going behind the counter.
“I fill like I’m in the middle of one of your books. I hadn’t expected to see the Richmond Rogues.”
“The players are like brothers. They often meet for morning coffee.”
“Before we start, let me give the readers a little background. I contacted Kate after reading Squeeze Play, the first book in the Richmond Rogue series. At that time, I dabbled in writing, but hadn’t submitted a manuscript to a publisher. I didn’t contact her as a fellow writer, but as an avid reader. The series taking place close to home intrigued me. She kindly responded to my message. Recently, when I learned she planned to release yet another book in the series, I had to interview her. And what better place than the coffee house where the series took life.”
“I appreciate getting to chat with you. The Rogues hold a special place in my heart. I love talking about them.” She glanced toward the ballplayers and grinned. “They love being talked about. Especially Psycho.”
“What influence your decision on Richmond, Virginia, for the setting of the Richmond Rogues series? Was there anything special about the location that inspired you?”
“I grew up in a family who loved baseball. My grandfather took me to my first professional baseball game when I was in elementary school. I quickly became addicted to the sport. Later I continued to attend games with my father and brother since I lived in Virginia for many years growing up. I decided to set the team in Richmond. The team name ‘rogues’ seemed right for the ballplayers. Some of the guys had a wild side.”
“That they do. What memories! Do any of the characters resemble your grandfather, dad, or brother?
“None of my characters resemble family members. I watch a lot of baseball on TV during the regular season.”
“Will there be more Rogue books?”
“Yes, I’m presently plotting a second generation of ballplayers. The ‘original’ guys will always have cameos in my storylines.”
“How did you decide on the personalities/ idiosyncrasies for the heroes and heroines? Are they from people you know or do they come from your imagination?”
“I have a strong imagination, but I also draw from the personalities of those players I admire most. I love a man with a big heart, especially someone who supports a charity, and who gives back to his community. Players who visit children in hospitals earn my respect. I’m a big fan of those in MLB who honor veterans as well. My heroines are always a bit quirky. Once the hero starts to fall in love, he falls hard for her. There’s no turning back. In Curveball, Keely Douglas won Psycho McMillan’s heart, and she didn’t know one thing about baseball before she met him. By the end of the story she could quote his stats.”
“Now for your new release, No Sunshine When She’s Gone. I think of it as Richmond Rogues meets Barefoot William, another captivating series. On release day, I purchased the book and started to read what I thought was another Rogues book. Right off, I discovered I was reading a book from the Barefoot William series. But when I had inquired about the next Richmond Rogues series, you had told me No Sunshine When’s She’s Gone was a releasing soon. Please don’t misunderstand, I love both series. I read a few pages before I read the magic words Richmond Rogues. Kate, you did another masterpiece by combining two bestselling story lines into one novel. Can you tell us what gave you the idea?”
“I’ve enjoyed writing my Barefoot William beach series. However, I’ve missed writing baseball. What better way to combine the two than to bring spring training to town. The Cates family owns Barefoot William. Rylan Cates is a Rogue. His brother built the stadium. I pitched the concept to my editor and she loved the idea. I live in southwest Florida. The Red Sox and Twins hold spring training on my coast. I get to catch a few games.”
“Anything else you’d like to say about either series?”
“No One Like You is the next book in the series. The story centers on Rylan Cates, who readers meet in No Sunshine When She’s Gone.”
“I had wondered if Rylan’s story would be the next. I can’t wait. I’d like to talk a little about the writing craft. Did you have formal training to be a writer?”
“I took two creative writing classes in college. My professors were very encouraging. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America. I’ve always enjoyed craft workshops. However, on the whole, I’ve pretty much winged-it. It’s just my creative style.”
“Speaking of which, you’re writing style is unique.” I finish my coffee. “Every sentence has a punch”
“Thank you. I’ve been told I write as I speak.”
“Are there any suggestions you would like to share that you wished you knew when you started out?
“Don’t look at trends. Write what you love most. Genres come and go. They recycle. Fall in love with your characters and give them the best story possible.”
“In regard to getting your work notice, what advice would you give?”
“Write the book you want to read.”
“Kate, thank you so much for taking the time to chat. It truly has been a pleasure.” I scoot out of the garish booth, grab my bag with the scone in it, and turn to Kate who is standing. Feeling like long-time friends, I give her a hug.
“I’ve enjoyed our visit! Let’s have coffee again sometime.”
“Sounds great. I think there’re some people waiting to talk with you.” I laugh and nod toward the table in the corner. The ball players are tapping their feet and drumming their fingers on the tables. Before you go, would you please leave the readers with an excerpt from your story?”
“I’d love to give you an excerpt!”
Set up: Aidan Cates arrives at Jillian Mac’s houseboat to invite her to the dog park. He wants his older dog Sadie to socialize and get some fresh air. He comes aboard…and finds Jill asleep, under a Disney-designed top sheet, which has slipped, exposing her breasts.
He needed to leave. He couldn’t stare at her all day.
He patted his thigh; the gesture told Sadie they’d be hitting the road. Her bones creaked as she padded from the bedroom.
Aidan stole one final glance at Jill and was surprised she’d awakened. She’d pulled the sheet up to her neck and plumped a second pillow behind her head. Her hair was sexy wild. Her gaze was questioning. Her lips were parted, but she didn’t scream. He took that as a good sign.
“I wasn’t expecting you,” she said.
“I hadn’t expected to find you in bed.”
“Did you get an eyeful?”
“I saw more than you’d want me to see, but my focus was on Ariel.”
“My boob says otherwise.”
“You didn’t answer my knock, so Sadie and I came looking for you. We were concerned.”
“Where’s Sadie now?”
“She’s already left.”
“And you should, too.”
He deserved that. “I’m sorry.”
“How sorry?” she asked.
“How sorry do you want me to be?”
She held his gaze, assessing the moment. “Tit for tat, Aidan,” she said. “Take off your shirt.”