Today I’m thrilled to bring you author Gwen Jones!  Gwen’s newest book, Laws of Seduction, was just released in Avon and she’s kindly stopped by to answer a few questions today.

Laws of Seduction looks delicious! What was your favorite scene to write for this book?

That would have to be the opening scene when Charlotte encounters Rex at the jail, seeing him for the first time in three months. Charlotte’s tough as nails and she’s normally not intimidated by anyone, though when she sees Rex in all his barely-ruffled elegance, he initially throws her off her game. She recovers quickly, but after that she realizes she has to be on her guard, easily deflecting his verbal sparring. Rex, for his part, learned when they first met just how tenacious Charlotte could be, yet he loves shocking her and pushing her toward the edge. It was just too much fun writing that kind of dialogue.

That sounds like the perfect start, and it sounds like they have great chemistry.   Now, I know every reader imagines the leading couple just so as they read along, but as the author, I have to ask… If Laws of Seduction were made into a Hollywood blockbuster, who would be your dream cast for Charlotte and Rex?

Rex Renaud is the ultimate in suave Frenchmen, which immediately brings to mind Gregory Fitoussi who plays the debonair yet fiery Henri Leclair in the PBS series, Mr. Selfridge. As far as Charlotte is concerned, she’s a combination of beauty, toughness and sass, but she’s also thirty-seven-years old…is Jennifer Lawrence too young?

Oh, wow! Now, that is an incredible couple to imagine together. Yum!   

Speaking on your writing in general, what major tropes will readers likely never see in a book of yours?

Well, let’s see, I’ve done Marriage of Convenience, Secret Baby, Boss/Employee, Rake vs. Ingénue, Tortured Hero, Billionaires…hm…is there anything left I haven’t covered?

Ha! You’ve got all of the good ones! (Don’t tell anyone but Marriages of Convenience are my weakness, by the way…)  Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, can you tell us a few songs from your playlist?

I like absolute quiet when I write, unless you count the sound of a leaf blower which is going on in my background now! Still, music does play a major role in my writing process. I use it to plot by, and some of my best plotting opportunities are when I exercise and drive. One of my favorite music genres (among others) is alternative, with songs such as M83 “Midnight City,” Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League,” Imagine Dragons “On Top of the World,” The Black Keys “Gotta Get Away” (which I just had to put on right now), and anything by the Foo Fighters. Danceable, upbeat music gets me motivated, moody music gets me thinking. It all works.

Great choices in music!  So obviously we all love books here. What’s the last book that you read (other than your own of course) that you absolutely loved?

I’m also an academic, so it was somewhat de rigueur that I read Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher, an absolutely hilarious epistolary novel about an embittered yet seriously snarky English professor (a-hem). And just last night I started the latest Diana Gabaldon novel in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I’m hoping it’ll get me through this “Droughtlander” phase until the Starz series starts back up in April. Gonna be a loooong winter…

Oh, Outlander… *dreamy sigh* I completely feel your pain with the hiatus..  While you wait for Outlander to return, where is your favorite place to read?

I have a comfy chair with a equally comfy ottoman in the corner of my office.  It’s also great for restorative afternoon power naps. That, and being from New Jersey, quite naturally, the beach.

You seem to share my philosophy — any good reading spot should also be comfy enough to doze off.

What are three things that you think readers would be surprised to learn about you?

Surprised? Hmm…let’s see. I used to work for the Playboy Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. And no, not as a bunny, but as a slot cashier. Both the casino and the position are gone now, but it was lots of fun and Playboy was a fantastic company to work for, very feminist, no matter the perceived reputation. Also that I’m tall, six-foot, and I can’t speak a word of French (though maybe that’s apparent in my writing, who knows! But I have great sources and even better editors).

“Bunny” or no, that’s still a fun thing to list on a resume!

What can readers expect from you next?

Right now I’m working on a contemporary family-saga type series quite different from “French Kiss.” It involves espionage, political intrigue, Hollywood, international locales and conspiracies. Otherwise known as Stuff That Never Enters My Everyday Life. But when has that stopped me before?

gwen jones

When Rex Renaud, the COO of Mercier Shipping, is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, he knows he’ll need a miracle to clear his name … and sassy lawyer Charlotte Andreko is the perfect woman for the job. Charlotte has built her career defending pro bono clients against womanizers like Rex Renaud, and she’d much rather let him sweat it out in a jail cell than defend him in court. Yet Rex swears he’s been set up, and when he offers her a shocking sum of money in exchange for her legal counsel, the financial security is too tempting to resist.

The court dubs Rex a serious flight risk—how many people have their own jet?—and he’s released on one condition: Charlotte’s his new jailer, and he’s stuck with her until his arraignment. But when a bomb threat sends Rex and Charlotte on the run, neither is prepared for the explosive chemistry and red-hot passion that flare between them as they hunt for the truth about his arrest.

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About the Author

Gwen Jones is a mentor and instructor in Western Connecticut State University’s Master in Creative and Professional Writing program, and an Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County College, in West Windsor, NJ. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Kelsey Review, and The Connecticut River Review, and she is the author of the HarperCollins Avon FRENCH KISS series, Wanted: Wife, Kiss Me, Captain, and The Laws of Seduction. A writer of women’s fiction and romance, she lives with her husband, Frank, near Trenton, New Jersey.

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