Monday, October 13, 2014

Aloha to Stacy Finz and GOING HOME - Guest post and giveaway

Stacy Finz joins us today to celebrate the release of GOING HOME ...

For more than twenty years I was a newspaper reporter. When I told people what I did for a living the inevitable question was “What do you cover?” For a long time I covered crime, especially high-profile murders that made headline news, including O.J. Simpson, the Yosemite murders and the Scott Peterson case. As you can imagine the questions ran the gamut: “You think he really did it?” “Were you ever alone with him in a room?” “Have you ever met Barbara Walters?”

Just in case you’re interested, the answers are yes, yes and no.

But now that I write romance novels, specifically small-town contemporaries, the questions and comments are completely different, but there are several that crop up constantly. Here they are in no particular order.

1) This one kind of makes me prickly: “I have a really good idea for a book. Maybe we could collaborate.”

With my teeth clenched, but in a polite way, my response is almost always the same. “I have plenty of my own ideas, just the lack of time to write them all. But if you have a good idea, you should write it yourself. Really.”

2) This one makes me laugh (in a good way): “Is there a lot of sex in your books? And if so how do you come up with your scenes?”

There is some sex in my books, but strictly R rated (at least in my opinion). And the whole time I’m writing those scenes there is a niggling in the back of my head that my mom and friends are going to read this. Ick. But for heaven’s sake it is a romance novel.

3) “How do you come up with your characters?” is a question I get a lot.

Sometimes they’re amalgams of people I know. Sometimes they’re completely made up, based on characteristics I think will be appealing or particularly loathsome to readers. I don’t like characters that are too much of anything -- so sweet he or she gives you a toothache or so mean that you want to finish him or her off with a pickax before you get midway through the book.

4) “Who are your favorite authors?” pops up almost every time I tell someone I’m a writer.

It’s a good question, but inevitably I get brain freeze and forget my favorite authors’ names. I have so many that it would take all day anyway.

5) “Can you make a living writing romance novels?”

A lot of my friends are journalists and have no qualms asking pointed questions. My standard answer is: “’Making a living’ means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so I really wouldn’t know how to answer that.” Then I quickly change the subject.

6) This one is a classic: “Any chance they’ll turn your book into a movie or a television series?”

That actually happened to a friend of mine. Her very first book was picked up by a major network and turned into a television series. She got to go to the studio, hang out with the actors and collaborate with the writers. I’m guessing, however, that it’s pretty rare. But a girl can certainly dream. 

A mountain flower (from Hawaii)

The small mountain town of Nugget, California, has a strange way of giving people unexpected reasons to start over—and find the most irresistible chances to fall in love…

Maddy Breyer needs to prove she can make her own life after betrayal blew up her previous happily-ever-after. Staying totally focused on renovating a decrepit mansion into a bed-and-breakfast might help her—and this recession-hit town—finally turn things around. But the mysterious new sheriff is the kind of lawbreaking temptation that’s an even bigger challenge to resist…

Detective Rhys Shepard is only back in Nugget long enough to care for his ailing father. He’s got a big-city promotion far away from this place that never accepted him. He does not need a sudden crime wave to solve. Or one leggy case of heartbreak stirring up all kinds of trouble and challenging his rules. Which might explain why he’s suddenly finding it hard to leave…

Stacy Finz is an award-winning former San Francisco Chronicle reporter. After more than twenty years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writing fiction. In 2012 she won the Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished single-title mystery/suspense. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband.

Website link:

Purchase links: Kensington/Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Kobo/iTunes

Stacy is giving away a digital copy of GOING HOME.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about California - what do you know about it?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 20.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Hawaii's gold ... pineapple!


  1. I love to visit San Diego. it has amazing weather and of course my father.

  2. Hollywood, great weather, baseball and football. The gold rush and it used to be part of Mexico,

  3. I only know that California should be about 3 or 4 different states instead of just one.

  4. Perhaps the usual - the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, Disney Land, and that it is experiencing a drought that will affect us all.

  5. It's on my bucket list. They have a lot of different weather since they're such a long state. And oh so many famous cities and Disneyland is there!

  6. I'd love to go there one year, specifically Santa Monica, I've heard so much about it, :)

  7. Congratulations on Going Home, Stacy! California's been my home since I was born, and it's a huge and incredibly diverse state. Unfortunately we're undergoing a severe drought, and that's not a good thing...