Friday, July 27, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: His Unexpected Family by Robyn Thomas

ROBYN, Welcome to HarlequinJunkie and Congrats on the release of your debut Novel "His Unexpected Family"

Thank you to Sara for inviting me here today. Settles comfortably and sips cool drink as we chat. Pull up a chair, grab a drink.

Let’s start with your debut Novel “His Unexpected Family”

Sara: If you had to sum up ‘His Unexpected Family’ what would you say...
Robyn: It’s a story of redemption, acceptance and starting over.  It’s proof that sometimes amazing things can happen while your focus and energy is directed elsewhere.

What was the inspiration behind your debut novel “His Unexpected Family”
I watched Touching the Void and thought that the filming of it must’ve involved considerable risks. I wondered what sort of person would film an expedition like that, and how they’d differ from the mountaineers they were filming. What if they were a team and had worked together before? What if being delayed for a few days saved the life of the cameraman while both his brother and his best friend perished? I had a flawed hero on my hands, and I knew straight away that his penchant for extreme sports was going to be a problem.     

How did you come up with the characters for this book?
Oops, I’ve already answered for Cole. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t come up with Ren’s character in a deliberate manner. I made Cole wait for his story until Ren “arrived” in my mind, already named, recently widowed and with a newborn daughter. I was surprised to find that her life had been turned inside out by the same tragedy that had ruined Cole’s.  It gave the two of them common ground and opposing perspectives and a whole world of guilt to navigate through. 


Sara: What were the challenges you faced in bringing this book to life?

Robyn: I’m not a big fan of ordinary sports, let alone extreme ones. I had to familiarise myself with what there was to do, the mindsets of the participants, and the risks involved. I watched whatever I could get my hands on in the way of interviews and documentaries, and read up on survivor guilt.

What one Favorite Scene would you never cut from ‘His Unexpected Family’
I’d have to say the shaving scene where there’s plenty of shaving cream flying around but no sign of a razor.

Now that we know about your debut, it's time to get to know you....

Sara: Who is Robyn Thomas, what should we know about her?
Robyn: Robyn Thomas is the kind of person who wonders what happens to people after their current mishap or hardship has been on the nightly news. Did they recover, are they traumatised, will their life ever be the same again?

What you should know about me: if the book I’m reading doesn’t have a happy ending, I’m going to want to pencil one in.

Sara: What inspired you to be an author? How did you choose the genre you write in?
Robyn: For many years I read a lot and entertained the idea of writing something “one day.”  When an idea took hold and the characters in my head insisted on having their story written, I knew that day had arrived. April Fool’s Day was fast approaching so I made that my start date – a safeguard in case the whole exercise was a disaster. That first book was truly awful and will never see the light of day, but I was already hooked on writing. The guarantee of a happy ending made romance an obvious choice for me.   

Sara: Tell us about the “CALL”
Robyn: The call was an event in itself. I totally missed it! My lovely editor sent an email saying she’d like to acquire my book, and I eventually stumbled across – wait for it – a follow up email. I don’t believe I’ve ever made such a high pitched squeal of horror and disbelief.  I was thrilled, don’t get me wrong, but the most amazing news ever had been squirrelled away in some obscure spam filter that I didn’t even know I had. And it‘d been there for more than two weeks! When I finally got myself together enough to hit reply… I repeatedly got an error message.

I emailed my critique partners two words that are rarely coupled together, and got their undivided attention. Between all of us we got it sorted, and I managed to send a resounding yes (please) email to my editor! Thankfully, I hadn’t missed my chance to accept her offer.     

Sara: What are you currently working on? Are there any other books to be released in 2012?
Robyn: I’m currently working on another Indulgence that’s due to release in Fall 2012. It can be described as: Prince Charming never moved into Cinderella’s house! But mega rock star Jake Olsen is rewriting the script, complete with a fake yet headline grabbing engagement. Beth Carlisle’s insular life is shaken up and publicly dissected, but this modern day Cinderella has the ability to direct her own Happily Ever After.

Sara: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Robyn: I’m definitely a pantser. I like to have a clear resolution in my mind before I start, but I follow my instincts for the bulk of the story. My characters tend to be headstrong and I try to let them have free rein.  

Sara: What is the one thing you've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?
Robyn: This is it! Getting a book published and sharing it with the world.

Sara: If you were stranded on an Island…
Robyn: If I was stranded on an island I’d definitely need my family with me. My husband is the most resourceful person I know, and my sons want to be inventors. Can anyone say Gilligan’s Island?
Oh, and I’d want the contents of my hubby’s off road vehicle. We’d be able to start a fire, catch fish, drink fresh water, snack and rug up. And there’s a radio to call for help. 

Book Blurb:
Sometimes you have to take the leap…again.
Newly widowed with a new baby, Ren Jamieson is putting her life back together after her thrill-seeking husband’s death. But when she’s called to show a high-end property to a prospective client—a commission she desperately needs—she meets a man who makes her pulse pound like nothing she’s ever known…
Cole Matthews is more than he seems. Real estate is only part of the reason he’s in Australia – the other is to see Ren, and make amends somehow for the life lost. The last thing Cole expects is a woman whose humor, sweetness and sexiness give him a rush greater than any he’s ever experienced…
Torn between her growing feelings for Cole and the risks of loving yet another adventurer, Ren will have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground…and taking the most dangerous leap of her life.

Contact Robyn:

To enter the Giveway: Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Post a comment -  Please tell us which fairytale characters you’d most like to see paired up in a contemporary romance?  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Fairy Tale characters. Goodness....

    Well this has already been written, but Cinderella and Prince Charming. The book is Cindy and the Prince by Debbie Macomber.

    1. Hi Kim, Cinderella and Prince Charming are a classic choice :-) *adds another book to my overwhelming TBR pile

  2. Pick me! I'd love to read Ren's and Cole's story! :D

    1. Hi Sasha, your first two words made me smile. I'm certain that Ren and Cole would love to spend a few hours with you. Good luck in the draw!

  3. The book sounds good. Ariel and Eric

  4. Thank you. Ariel and Eric make a lovely couple.

  5. I always like Cinderella & Prince Charming, but I like Beauty and the beast too....
    The book sound great....
    I love to spend a few hours with this book if I'm lucky enough to have it.....
    So, wish me luck ! ^^

  6. Best of luck! I love Beauty and the Beast, too. They're such opposites, and I never tire of that storyline.

  7. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite too!

  8. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite, although I'd love to see a re-write of Sleeping Beauty so she's less of a wet blanket. (Not sure how that would happen though - she IS "sleeping" beauty.)

  9. Hi to Eli, Shelley, and Rebe. It's so cool that there are so many votes for Beauty and the Beast. *puts on thinking cap for a proactive version of Sleeping Beauty... maybe the sleeping thing is a curse rather than a reality, and finding true love before a strict deadline is the only way to keep it at bay?

  10. Dear Robyn,,

    thank you for the giveaway, it seems that the luck of the fairies had chosen me, so I can fulfill my desire to spend a few hours with Ren and Cole ^^