Kristina Knight: Ah, what a question! Like a lot of writers, I get my story ideas from everywhere: a snippet of overhead conversation (unabashed eavesdropper here!), stories on the news, pictures in magazines. This particular story was a combination: I'd been to a surfing competition and then I saw a surfing movie … and then I wondered what would happen if a laid-back surfer got all caught up with a Type A woman…and the rest is history.
CTW: What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this story?
KK: The research! I set this book in Mexico in an area I'm familiar with (Puerto Vallarta), so that part was fairly simple. But getting the surfing details just right was a challenge!
CTW: How did you overcome it?
KK: I gave myself permission to get it wrong, if need be! Lol Seriously, I did my best, through my research, to get those details write but in the end, I'm not a surfer (gasp!), so I had to be okay with possibly missing a little detail here or there. But, from the response I've gotten, I think I managed to walk the line of real-life surfing and fiction pretty well.
CTW: Where do you find motivation and inspiration for writing?
KK: Oh, everywhere! Books, movies, a beautiful sunset. The ideas and the motivation to do my absolute best with every book I write come from everywhere.
CTW: How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
KK: I don't wait for 'the mood'. Writing is my business and I treat it like one: when I set down at the computer, I'm ready to do the work. I have a couple of cheats – I leave the last scene of the day 'open' so that I'm eager to get back to the page the next day, I make playlists for my books that help me keep the mood of certain scenes and I turn off the Internet connection – that way there are no distractions!
CTW: What literary characters do you have crushes on?
KK: So many! Mr. Darcy, first and foremost. Because, well, Darcy!
CTW: What do you look for in a hunky hero?
KK: A heart. The hunkiest hero out there will fall flat if he doesn't have heart.
CTW: What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
KK: Don't give up and keep learning your craft. Take workshops, listen to the advice of established authors…but know what you want and go after it with determination, focus and joy.
CTW: What are your three most-read books on your bookshelf?
KK: An old Harlequin Presents called Snow Bride – it was my first and is still one of my favorites! The Christmas Present by Johanna Lindsay – I pull it out every holiday season. Huckleberry Finn – that book never gets old!
CTW: What's up next for you and your writing career?
KK: I have a new release coming later this month that I will be self-publishing. It's called Mr. Right Now and it's a vacation romance set about a cruise liner. And then I have a new series coming out in the Spring that I hope I'll be able to announce very soon!
CTW: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
KK: Thank you so much for having me here today! I've enjoyed every second!
About the Author
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she's never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and daughter. Happily ever after.
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About the Book
A billionaire surfer… A down-on-her-luck hotelier… One hot summer fling…
Esmerelda Quinn has one shot at saving her aunt's beloved vacation villa – and the only home she has ever known. Putting up with ex-surfer Santiago Cruz's antics? He's burned her before but she can handle The Saint, this time around.
Santiago Cruz wants out of Puerto Vallarta in a bad way but after hearing the stipulations that could cost Esme her beloved villa, he can't leave. And as long as she's willing to play by his rules, they might just have some fun along the way…
As long as he plays by her rules, Esmerelda knows she can salvage the estate – and keep her heart intact. The only problem? The Saint's charms are hard to resist…and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall – all over again.
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“You forget yourself, Esmerelda. You’re talking about making this simple for the staff, that doesn’t mean I need to come to you for every new guest registration or idea I have. Besides, we need this campaign.” Santiago waved his hand. “We need more guests of a certain means to make the villa stand out. Families are great, but they won’t make Casa Constance a go-to destination. These people will. So, we use our new guests as features in a new campaign for the high-end travel magazines. A few shots in the tabloids wouldn’t hurt, either.”
“You weren’t even going to discuss this with me?”
“I’m telling you now. While we’re on the subject—” he tossed a few magazines from his desktop onto her lap “—what do you see in these pictures?”
Esme sent him a killing glance and then flipped through the pages. “Boring. Bland. Not home.”
“Exactly. This isn’t a home, or it shouldn’t be a home first. If you want Casa Constance to succeed you need to treat it like a business. So, make-over, what do you like?”
She tossed the magazines back onto the desktop. “Our guests love the color and textures of Old Mexico. They say so all the time.”
“Your guests haven’t been in residence, at least not actively, in more than a year. We aren’t appealing to anyone right now and we need to. So, makeover starts this afternoon and your new training begins in the morning.”
“I know what I need to know about running a vacation resort.”
“You need to experience a vacation to sell it. We need day-trips, we need amenities. I’ll bet you’ve never gone para-sailing or sky diving, much less enjoyed a couple’s massage.” Her cheeks pinked at the last suggestion and Santiago smiled. “Celebrities visiting Casa, playing on our private beach, being featured in an advertising campaign—with a few pictures leaked to the tabloids to get the word out even sooner. Casa needs this.”
Esme took a few breaths and then settled back into her chair. “I can’t afford to pay the salary of a New York advertising crew. Seriously, Santiago, you have to cancel.”
“My three months, remember? It won’t cost you a thing. The photographer owes me a favor. The only cost will be the campaign copy, which will be negligible. I do know what I’m doing, Esmerelda.”
“Okay, mail.” Esme shook her head as if clearing thoughts of the upcoming ad campaign from her head. “Marquez usually separates bills from letters—”
“As the mail will be delivered to the front desk, I’m happy to see to it. And let’s cut to the chase.” He leaned back in the chair and clasped his hands behind his head. “I don’t want to be tied down to a vacation villa for the rest of my life. But if you really want this, there is something you have to do for me. First.”
Esme swallowed, crossed and re-crossed her legs before clasping her hands in her lap. “What do you want? A payoff? You’ve seen the books, you know there isn’t much money. But if it’s money you want, I’ll agree to your price. I just need time to come up with the capital.”
She really didn’t know him at all. He shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. Surprised and a bit disappointed. “I need your money like I need another surfing championship,” he said, sitting up straight. “No, what I want from you is a bit more. . . ephemeral. I want your time. For three hours each day, you belong to me. No villa work. No guest handholding.” He walked around the desk to rest his hip against one corner. “No conferences with staff. No following the maids on their routine cleanings and no visits to the kitchen to give Gloriana instructions. For three hours each day, your time is my time.”
“You can’t be serious. That... that’s just...” She trailed off when his index finger traced the line of her jaw. He lowered his voice.
“No work. No phones. No villa. You do what I say, what I want.”
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