Sunday, November 23, 2014

Aloha to Shannyn Schroeder and HER WINNING FORMULA

The Wishful Traveler

I am not well traveled. I rarely go far from home, even though there is a huge part of me that would like to. My mom took our family to Ireland and London when I was a small child. It was the year after my father had died and she wanted us to meet his family. I was so young, though, that the trip didn’t make much of an impression. We went to Wisconsin Dells once and I went to Houston with my aunt to visit another aunt (all we did was sit around the apartment).

When I turned 18, my graduation present to myself was a trip to London. I went for 2 weeks. Although I traveled alone, I was able to stay with my dad’s aunt so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel. It was a great trip. I still have vivid memories of what it was like to stand and wait for the tube or sit and people watch at Picadilly Circus. I only wish I would’ve gone to Scotland from there, spent more time exploring. Ever since then, I promised myself that one day I’d travel more.

But then there was college and then a career and marriage and kids. Having kids prompted me to do more traveling, but it was all kid-related: many trips to the Dells, a trip through central Illinois to visit 3 kids’ museums in a weekend, Indianapolis for another kids’ museum, a trip to Michigan where we rented a house walking distance from the lake, a few trips to Disney World… You get the picture. But in all of those trips, it was about making memories for the kids, not me.

As a writer, I’ve played it safe with setting. All of my single title books take place in and around Chicago because I’ve lived here my whole life. It wasn’t until I wrote my Hot & Nerdy trilogy that I left Chicago for two of the novellas, but even then, setting only played a small role. I did my research and kept it simple.

I went to RT in New Orleans last year. It was only the second time I’d ever gone on a trip without my kids. The conference was fun, for the most part, but I enjoyed walking around just experiencing parts of the city. By the time my week was over, and I was sitting in the airport, I opened a notebook and wrote an epilogue for my first book. It took place in New Orleans. The flavor of the setting was all over that short piece. I wrote about the things I saw on my walks, the food I ate, the sounds I heard, the smells I smelled. No amount of research could really give me that.

My hope as I continue to write and explore outside my comfort zone is to travel more, to make my writing more authentic. Of course, I still have my kids and travel is expensive, so I’m not sure how to make it happen, but I can wish.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Kim's photo from the Honolulu Airport
Note the surfboard case!


Spring break was supposed to be a last blast of fun for three friends before the reality of adulthood set in. But for the trio’s science whiz, it’s an education in instant attraction…

Chemistry major Felicity Stone can tell you everything about the way chemicals interact, but when it comes to social interaction, she needs schooling. Abandoned by her friends, Felicity is faced with spending spring break alone—unless she accepts a gorgeous stranger’s invitation to pose as his girlfriend at a family wedding. Not one to turn down a research opportunity, Felicity never expected it to produce such breathtaking results…

Teacher and baseball coach Lucas Tanner is fascinated by Felicity’s potent mix of spirit and scientist, not to mention her delicious curves. When Felicity asks him to return the favor by teaching her how to pick up guys, he can’t refuse—but he’s not at all happy with the idea of her using a formula for flirting on anyone but him. Can he convince her that together they have the perfect chemistry?

Kindle link
Nook link
iBooks link
Kobo link

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Goodreads link

Kim's photo of the island hopper

Shannyn is giving away a digital copy of HER WINNING FORMULA.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Answer Shannyn's question - what is your favorite place to visit?  Mine, of course, is Hawaii.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Kim's photo of Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore


  1. That's a hard question....some many favorite places! Though I would say someplace tropical....Hawaii or Tahiti.

  2. Thanks for hosting me! I have to say, Kim, that I am completely jealous of Hawaii, especially right now because I live in Chicago and it's much too cold.

  3. All the places that books take me :)

  4. Disneyworld :) Congrats to Shannyn on the new release! thanks for sharing :)

  5. I have to say that I love to visit Hawaii. Second, though, is Disneyland and California Adventure...although they have gotten too expensive for me to go very often, lol. I can be a kid again (as long as my poor feet hold up) and revel in the joy and magic of the park!

  6. I've been fortunate to see a number of places but since moving to Texas, the place I've visited the most is San Antoino. I enjoy seeing the Alamo and traveling the River Walk. Have found the best Mojitos there!!

  7. Jacksonville, FL...where my family lives.