Twelve years ago, beautiful, blond, wealthy Willa Masterson left White Pine, tires squealing, for New York City, without looking back. Since then, she’s enjoyed everything New York has to offer a girl with unlimited resources. But the recent discovery that her boyfriend has squandered her inheritance in a Ponzi scheme sends Willa back to White Pine, to the only asset she has left: her childhood home, which she plans to turn into a high-end B&B.
Enter Burk Olmstead, the best contractor in town-and Willa’s high school boyfriend, whom she left high and dry when she moved away. Hard-working, hard-bodied Burk, who has been taking care of Willa’s childhood home for years, also has plans for the beautiful old house-plans that conflict with Willa’s B&B. When these two argue, sparks fly and reignite the fire that’s always been between them…but it may take the whole town of White Pine to get these two lovers back together for good.
❀ Author Q&A with Kim Amos ❀
Ing: Hi Kim! Welcome to ATPT! Could you tell the readers of ATPT about A Kiss to Build a Dream On? What can they expect plot, pace, sex, etc from this book?
Kim: Thanks so much for having me! I’m really delighted to be here talking about books—my favorite things!
A Kiss to Build a Dream On follows Willa Masterson’s return home to White Pine, Minnesota, after years away in New York City. She’s determined to rebuild her life and her childhood home, but she doesn’t count on her contractor being her one-time love, Burk Olmstead. She also doesn’t fully anticipate how much she has to own up to the way she treated people in the town when she was younger. Willa has a ton of changing to do—not to mention she has to learn how to make a hot dish, which is the Minnesota name for a casserole. Of course, there are plenty of sexytimes to pair with your hot dish—and who doesn’t love sex and casseroles? 🙂
Ing: Can you tell us a about the hero Burk Olmstead? What about Burk do you think will draw the readers in and make them love him?
Kim: Burk is a ladies man, but his heart has never really been anyone else’s since Willa left White Pine all those years ago. He’s got a broody side that’s been pining for Willa this whole time, and it points to a gentle heart underneath his rough exterior. For example, Burk is close to his sister, Anna, who is married and has a toddler named Juniper. Burk loves caring for his niece and being with his sister’s family is, secretly, his favorite time during the week. His dedication to his family—and to Willa after all these years—is so touching, and I loved writing that side of him.
Ing: Now tell us a bit about the heroine Willa Masterson? What about Willa do you think will draw the readers in and make them love her?
Kim: Like many of us (okay, me) the heroine, Willa, has made a ton of mistakes in her past and now she has to own up to them. She is a former mean girl who has to confront the fact that she was a bully and hurt people. (For the record, I was never a bully, I was just a screw-up in about a million other ways.) The fact that Willa vows to change and tries to make things right is great, but it’s really her friends in White Pine who deserve the gold medals for awesomeness, because they have to forgive her and believe that she’s working hard to become a different person. I love any story that has people taking a big fall and then trying to work their way back up—ultimately to a different, better place.
Ing: Why are these two perfect for each other? What about them individually makes them so drawn to each other? Why do you think the readers will fall in love with this couple?
Kim: Burk and Willa balance each other perfectly no matter the circumstances. When they were young, she was a headstrong rich girl who only ever relaxed and let her guard down around him. These days, it’s Burk who’s uptight and Willa’s the one who needs to get him to crack a smile and be vulnerable. They are always the complement the other needs—no matter how much time or space has passed between them.
Ing: What was a scene that stood out or was memorable for you when writing A Kiss to Build a Dream On? Why did this scene stand out for you?
Kim: Willa is very much a fish-out-of-water in White Pine, and one of the things she has trouble coping with is bad weather. Which Minnesota has lots of! So when a big snowstorm hits, Burk offers to help her get all the necessary items she’ll need to ride it out. They’re sitting in his truck outside the local hardware store, going through a list of what she should get, and he’s wondering at her footwear. He’s encouraging her to get snow boots and she’s contemplating if they’ll have a cute pair, maybe in pink (of course he explains that the local hardware store will not have adorable snow boots). There’s a funny back-and-forth that showcases how Burk doesn’t much care what Willa looks like—she could be dressed in fishing waders and a John Deere hat—and he’d love what she looks like. It’s such a tender and giggly moment between them, and I had so much fun penning it.
Ing: I like knowing and hearing the back story about how a book or series came about. Can you tell us where the idea for A Kiss to Build a Dream On came from? Is this book going to be part of a series or is it strictly a stand alone?
Kim: There were lots of inspirations for A Kiss to Build a Dream On, and certainly one of the biggest was the quaint and wonderful Minnesota town where I went to college: Northfield. It definitely inspired White Pine, down to the location of the river and the shops on Main Street. I always thought it was the most picturesque little place (and I still do!), and I think about it every time I try to write anything that describes White Pine.
There are two more books coming in the White Pine series, which I’m over the moon about! The second book, And Then He Kissed Me, will be out in July. 2015 The third book, Every Little Kiss, will be out in October 2015.
Ing: Can you give us a peek at what you have up your sleeve next? What else can we look forward to from you? Could you give the 411 on these upcoming projects?
Kim: Currently, I’m working on a White Pine novella that centers around one of the most outspoken characters in the series: Betty Lindholm. She is hilarious and based on my real-life friend Diana, who is never afraid to speak her mind. I’m working on Betty’s story now!
Ing: Now on to questions about you. We want to know more about Kim. Who are some auto buy authors that you read now?
Kim: I’m totally head-over-heels about Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series. She’s so hilarious and I always adore her heroines. I also love historical romance, and Courtney Milan’s is always a great go-to. Apart from romances, I heart a good mystery, and right now I’m tearing through Tana French books. She is amazing. Her writing is incredible. She manages to be literary and suspenseful all at once. What a gift!
Ing: Since becoming a writer what’s been the best advice that you’ve received?
Kim: Slow down. Give every book the time it needs. Don’t rush to finish.
Ing: If you had a dinner party which heroes and heroines would be on your guest list and why?
Kim: Nathan Fillion because his super power is being ridiculously hot and I base all my heroes off him! Haha. And next to him, Amelia Earhart. She was gutsy and brave in so many admirable ways during a time when not much was expected of women. I would love to hear her internal thoughts and learn how she shut out the haters.
Ing: Kim thanks so much for stopping by today! I really appreciate you answering all these questions. Do you have any last words or questions you would like to pose to the readers of this blog?
Kim: Thanks again for having me! And if any of your readers out there have thoughts or ideas about what they’d like to see happen in the White Pine series, I’m all ears! What is a contemporary romance plot/setup that you’d love to see on the market but isn’t there? What do you think is missing from contemporary romance these days? And if you’ve had hot dish, tell me about the best hot dish you’ve eaten because OMG HOT DISH!! 😉
Thanks again! <3 <3 <3
★ A Kiss to Build a Dream On ~ Excerpt ★
Thursday, September 20, 7:58 A.M.
Willa’s eyes flew open. She sat up straight and glanced at the alarm clock. 7:58. She’d overslept. And now, there was a furious pounding on the door.
Burk was already here.
“Coming!” Willa hollered, and rolled off the ancient brass bed, the worn mattress squeaking in protest. Getting new furniture was high on the list of things to do, but it would have to wait until the walls were re-plastered and painted and the floors refinished and—
Wham! Wham! Wham!
Burk was going to break down the door. “I said I’m coming!” Willa yelled, shoving her feet into slippers and shrugging into her robe. She fumbled with the robe’s belt as she flew down the staircase, the warped wood nearly tripping her and sending her face-first into the banister.
Wham! Wham! Wha—
Willa yanked open the door furiously. “I said I was coming!” She drew herself to her full height, glaring at Burk, whose enormous frame was back-lit by the golden sun climbing in the sky. As a halo of rich morning light ignited Burk’s chiseled form, she suddenly wondered if she was still dreaming. Even in a flannel work shirt, his broad shoulders and rippled muscles made him appear like a Roman god. His ebony hair was like coal set aflame. His skin, tan from all the outdoor work, was suddenly bronze perfection. Her heart hammered involuntarily at the overpowering sight of him.
Burk stopped, mid-pound, and dropped his fist. For a moment, they both stared at each other.
After all the noise, it was suddenly, eerily quiet.
Willa’s chest heaved from racing to the door, her robe falling slightly open. She watched Burk’s eyes slide from her flushed face to her breasts, which she could feel brushing against the fabric of her nightgown with every breath. Her nipples were tight and hard against the cotton, and she suddenly pictured Burk’s mouth on them, kissing and sucking with wild abandon. The thought sent flames along her skin, even in the cool morning.
Burk snapped his eyes back to Willa’s face, but it was too late. They both knew what he’d been staring at. Willa quickly began belting her robe around her body, both mortified and thrilled at what he’d seen and what she’d felt. It didn’t help that she fumbled with the material, thanks to a trembling in her fingers that hadn’t been there a moment ago.
When she looked back up at Burk, she wondered if she’d find his stony expression unmoved. Just like yesterday. Instead, he was gazing right at her, a small smile creeping into the corners of his mouth. He was laughing at her.
Just like that, her embarrassment flipped to anger. Who did this guy think he was, pounding on her door, staring at her tits, and then grinning about it all?
“Good goddamn morning to you too, Burk,” she said angrily.
“Rise and shine,” he said, his grin widening.
★ Books in the White Pine Series ★
★ Giveaway ★
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