Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m not 100% this morning as I had to drive to New Orleans at around 10 pm last night. It’s a drive of about an hour and fifteen minutes. My husband landed early actually, so we didn’t have to wait long. He came home after being gone twelve days in Beijing.
Anyway, after picking him and a friend up, we had to make that same drive home (stopping for gas on the way because I thought I could make it home, but nope), getting here around one am. Then there was the “Putting the Boy to Bed” process.
Still, though, the sun came up and light shown through our bedroom window around 6:30 and I’m awake. Fortunately, I have a wonderful author to share with you, so lack of sleep won’t deter me.
Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her dog. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.
Iris was nice enough to answer my odd interview questions.
Top five favorite movies:
(not necessarily in this order)
1 – James Bond â€œSkyfallâ€ & â€œCasino Royaleâ€
2 â€“ Tangled & Frozen
3 â€“ Love Actually
Okay â€“ Iâ€™m cheatingâ€¦ I add some books as well: My favourite book is â€œIf you could see me nowâ€ by Cecelia Ahern and â€œ84 Charing Cross Roadâ€ by Helene Hanff
In 5 words, please describe your “Romance Writing Style.”
Australian romance, mixed with a bit of international flair.
What is your “girlie girl” thing? I.e. getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks?
OMG, Iâ€™m so not â€œgirlie.â€ LOLâ€¦ canâ€™t stand shopping, never been much into gossiping, and chick flicks make me sadâ€¦ does that make me boring?
I suppose being with good friends means to sit down with a glass of wine (not for me though) and chat awayâ€¦ or a nice movie night!
This or That:
~ Wine or Beer? – Neither
~ Sex in the City or Caroline in the City? – Neither
~ Perfume or Jewelry? – Perfume
~ Painted nails or Au Natural? â€“ Au Naturale
~ Tall or Dark or Handsome? – Handsome
~ Romantic Dinner at Home or Out? â€“ Romantic Dinner at Home
~ Roses or Lilies? â€“ Lilies, Irises if possible.
~ Diamond or Emeralds? – Diamonds
~ Pirates or Ninjas? – Neither
Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
Pop starsâ€¦ I can swoon like a teenager over a pop star with a good song and write him into my story.
If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do??
Just â€œbeâ€ I suppose. A nice smile, can talk about anything and has a good knowledge. Be the â€œold fashionedâ€ gentleman, who holds the door open, be courteous, have good manners, be kind and polite.
Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream?
ALL.THE.TIME. And a bit of music in the background and, voila, the voices in my head start talking!
What do you do in your down time?
What on earth is down time?? Ohâ€¦ when Iâ€™m not busyâ€¦ LOLâ€¦ I either sit down with a good book or watch a good movie.
When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order?
Okay, the thing is, we donâ€™t have Starbucks or Jamba Juiceâ€¦ so when I go to a place similar, no doubt, no hesitation, it has to be Twinings Early Gray.
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Romance section â€“ Specials
If we sneaked a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?
I hate to admit it, lots of medication, a few lip smackers, a ridiculous amount of keys, my wallet, tissues, USB stick, some Euro coins (LOL), the â€œHappy Anniversaryâ€ badge we got from Disneyland last year, possibly some receipts and definitely some old shopping listsâ€¦ oh my, I have a feeling it needs a good clean up.
In 4 words, describe yourself.
Boring, lazy, crazyâ€¦ â€˜lovingmumâ€™
Top ten snacks while writing:
Ahhhâ€¦ not much snacking for me due to my diet restrictions. The drink youâ€™d find near me most of the times is a coke or a nice cup of tea.
Snacks â€“ hmmâ€¦ sometimes my girls make ANZAC bikkies for me, or waffles. Otherwise, the snacking is nowadays boring and restricted to apples or carrots.
Thanks, Iris! Now, let’s hear about your new book.
The small town of Hobart in Tasmania has witnessed many beginnings in recent years. At yet one more beginning, the wedding of a friend, Jared Fraser decides itâ€™s time for some fresh beginnings to come his wayâ€¦ And he sets out for a holiday to the US to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome.
Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesnâ€™t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on holiday.
Then the arrival of family friend Mia Levesque and her boyfriend, Josh, turns Jaredâ€™s holidays upside-down when heâ€™s forced to play arbitrator between the two teenagers.
Here’s an excerpt for you:
G’day!” He stared at her and for some reason something tugged at his heart. Not that he wanted that. He had no room for women, let alone American ones. They all were on earth to make life complicated. Mark was constantly running around for Sophie or Hope, even though Mark’s wife was one in a million and little Hope was simply adorable, especially when she was asleep.
“Ya know it’s dangerous to hitch a ride,” he finally said when she was still quiet.
She stared at him for a moment, but then replied with the typical American twang in her voice. “I know you said something, but I have no idea what.”
He chuckled. “It is dangerous to hitchhike,” he repeated with exaggerated pronunciation.
The woman stepped a bit closer to the window. “Are you from Austria?”
He laughed aloud.
“Australia, I meant,” she added, seemingly embarrassed by the mistake.
“I am indeed.” He watched her looking ahead towards the horizon. “So you wanna hitch a ride?”
Jared had a feeling she didn’t want to, but her current situation didn’t give her many choices. There they were in the middle of nowhere, with the next place a fair few miles away.
“Name’s Jared,” he said and then he opened the door and walked around the motorhome. Leaning against the vehicle, he looked at her. She was pretty. Thin, but pretty. When her brown eyes met his, he experienced another one of those heart tugs and wasn’t impressed at all. He tried to look right past her. It wasn’t happening though. They were like magnets.
“Jared,” he repeated and held out his hand.
Her look went right past him into the distance, and he assumed she was fighting with herself, part of her wanting to get off the road, the other part being worried.
“Anybody else travelling with you?” she asked quietly.
He shook his head. “Nope.”
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and, after a brief moment, reached for his hand. “Nice meeting you.”
Acknowledging that she wasn’t much into sharing details like her name, he opened the door for her. “Where are ya headin’?” he asked.
A smile started in her eyes and played with the corner of her lips. He felt himself smiling back. There was an appreciation in her smile.
“Could you drop me off at the next stop?” she asked hesitantly.
“Most certainly, but where are ya headin?”
She shrugged. “Kingman?”
“Is that on this road?”
Nodding, she said. “Yes, it is. It should be less than a hundred miles along this highway.”
“Then hop in.”
She turned to get into the motorhome, and he took in her small stature and the narrow shoulders which seemed even smaller in her tight, red T-shirt. Jared noticed her cargoes were just hanging onto her hips. A nice steak wouldn’t go astray on these hips. Suddenly she stopped and moved to look at him. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“No worries mate.”
Jared held her gaze and wasn’t sure what to say or do. She simply stood in front of him like frozen.
“My name is Ivy,” she said after a long moment.
“Hedera. An evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plant in the family Araliaceae.”
With a frown, she stared at him. “I really didn’t understand that one.”
He laughed. “Sorry, mate. I got carried away. I’m a landscaper. Ivy is a climbing plant.” Scratching the back of his head, he added, slightly self-conscious, “And, of course, a beautiful name.”
There was a small laugh as she stepped into the motorhome. He went around and slid behind the wheel before driving back onto the road. There was a long silence, and Jared wasn’t really sure what to do or say. Usually, he was good with silence. Actually, he loved it. But at that moment, the silence made him uncomfortable.
“So, what brings ya out into the middle of the sticks?”
When there was no reply, he turned and looked at her. There was a big frown on her face, and he sighed.
“I thought you all speak English as well?”
“We do,” she said with a slight giggle. “But I’m not so sure about you Australians.”
With a grin he replied, “Now, don’t be cheeky, Ivy.”
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, my mom always said.” She laughed. “No way would I make fun of you.”
“So, you’re expectin’ a meal as well?”
There was a moment of silence again, and he glanced over. The smile was gone and panic was written all over her face.
“Iâ€¦ I didn’tâ€””
Quickly he reached out for her hand. “I’m pulling your leg.” And when she didn’t reply again, he muttered, “This thing with you Americans not understanding English is turning into a problem. I was kiddin’.”
“Pulling your leg?” She shook her head. “Never heard of it.”
A bark of laughter filled the small space. “Anyway. Talkin’ about food. There’s a small place ahead. Want some lunch?”
Currently, I don’t have any information on where you can purchase Fresh Beginnings, but perhaps we can get Iris to give us that information in the comments.
In the meantime, if you want to connect with Iris, you can find her online:
My Blog: www.iris-b.blogspot.com
Thanks, Iris, for stopping by!