Monday, August 7, 2017

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Maria Hoagland

When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found combing used furniture stores, remodeling houses with her husband, or sitting on the sideline of a son's soccer game. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. While she appreciates the home office she shares with her husband, Maria's favorite writing places are outdoors where there is sunlight and no internet. Maria Hoagland has several published works including two Whitney Award finalists, The {Re}Model Marriage and Still Time. Other works include Beauty and the Billionaire Beast, Home for the Holidays, Nourish & Strengthen, and Family Size.

Welcome back to my blog, Maria. Please tell us about your novella, Kayaks & Kisses.

Thank you so much, Linda! I love being on your blog and sharing my books with readers.

I know authors aren’t supposed to have favorites of their books, but Kayaks & Kisses is certainly one of my favorites (shh…don’t tell the other books). This sweet romance novella is part of my Romance Renovations series—my line of books that’s HGTV meets Hallmark movies. That means it will be sweet romance anyone can feel comfortable reading, and it will also contain some fun construction and renovation—this time of a business that two people are forced into sharing for a trial period. Here’s the official book description:

Brynn Caley is about to start her dream career running an outdoor sporting goods store when an out-of-town business guru makes his own offer on the property. Coerced into forming a temporary partnership, Brynn, with her ski experience, finds she has to work with fishing expert Gage to run the year-round shop. Through a series of innocent misconceptions and a few blatant lies, Brynn doesn’t realize that the handsome single guy on the construction crew is her new partner, and he doesn’t want to set her straight until he can gain her favor. She, on the other hand, would do anything not to work with the stuffy businessman she’s only met through email.

Inspired by the movies You’ve Got Mail and The Shop around the Corner, Kayaks & Kisses is a heart-warming tale of finding love in autumn leaves, outdoor activities, and new friendships.

What was your inspiration behind this story?

I wanted to write an autumn/Thanksgiving romance, and to me that means Ruidoso, NM. My family and I always rent a different cabin for Thanksgiving and spend the day hiking and enjoying the beautiful mountains and small town boutique shopping in this cute little town. I couldn’t imagine setting my story anywhere else. Add to that, You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie, and one I watch every fall (“Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.”), and that became the basis of the story. While this is not a retelling of that movie, it is my spin on the idea.

You love to write novellas. Why is that?

I love writing. Sometimes that means full-length novels, and lately, more and more novellas. I’ve found that my issues-driven ideas become novels and always end up in the Upmarket/Women’s fiction categories, but sometimes I want to write a sweet romance escape, something a reader can enjoy in a few sittings, to take them away from their regular life and experience a new setting and a new love. It’s the variety that keeps me intrigued as a writer.

Did you have to do any research for this story?

I always love doing research for my books, but this one didn’t require too much. I am already very familiar with the setting, so instead, the research involved looking into Basque food for my cafĂ©, and watching the movie, The Shop Around the Corner, which I’d never seen before.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

The fun part about writing these characters was the push and pull between them. I was especially intrigued with Gage because he realized early on that he needed to fix things between him and Brynn. I couldn’t help rooting for him. Together, they are a fun couple who love the outdoors maybe even more than I do.

Thank you for this interview, Maria. I appreciate your time on my blog. I hope my followers will check out your book. For those interested, here are Maria’s links below so you can check out her books.

Maria’s website:


Nancy Luebke said...

Sounds interesting. I really enjoy sweet romances. Thanks for this opportunity. jluebke(at)frontier(dot)com Paperback.

Sonja said...

I haven't read Maria's books, but am happy to be introduced to this new author! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

I'm not familiar with Maria or her books but our church library readers love reading romance books.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Linda Kish said...

Sometimes novellas are the perfect length. Hallmark movies are some of my favorites so this sounds like it's perfect for me. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

wall-to-wall books said...

Ahh I have heard of this book! It looks real cute!

Leona Olson said...

I loved The Shop Around the Corner with James Stewart but I cannot remember the main lady character. I can see her and hear her voice.

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a winner to me!

Maria Hoagland said...

Hi, all! Thank you so much for checking out this interview and for your interest in "Kayaks & Kisses." It's got a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy it as well!

The Random Number Generator online picked Janet E. as our winner. I'll be contacting her now!