Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway: Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson

Today we welcome the amazing Penny Watson to the blog! She is the author of the popular series, The Klaus Brothers, and the brilliant, Lumberjack in Love!! We are huge...I mean HUGE fans of hers, so you can imagine how excited we were when she agreed to stop by for a visit and answer a few questions about writing. Her most recent release, Apples Should Be Red, is creating quite the stir in the reading world, especially among the "older" readers. It's so hard to find a romance about a mature couple (over 50), and Penny does not disappoint! She brings it home big time in Apples Should Be Red, and as you'll see Dorsey and Karla loved it! We've got lots for you to enjoy today, including their two reviews and a very funny Q & A with Penny! There are also two giveaways, one for our US readers and one for our international readers, we don't want to leave anyone out! So check out all the goodies in the post, and then enter to win a digital copy of Apples Should Be Red. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter that applies for you

What it's about
Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner:
Start with sixty-two year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon.

Add fifty-nine year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.

Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.

Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.

Tastes like happily ever after.

Penny Watson presents an over-fifty romantic comedy novella. 21,000 words. Story includes copious profanity and botanical references.

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble
*For a limited time only $0.99!!*
Dorsey's review 
5 Sexy Mature Fun Loving Stars!!!
Penny Watson is hilarious, I loved Lumberjack In Love and this one is just as fantastic!!

This goes to show that age is just a number. Tom is 62 and Beverly is 59 years young, and not really friends, although they are related by marriage and both widowed. That is where their  similarities end. Tom is gruff, bold, crass, and doesn't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks of him. Bev is a people pleaser, proper, and somewhat rigid.

Due to circumstances Bev & Tom are forced to share his house during Thanksgiving....after a few days together they succeed in changing each other to suit and complement each other perfectly....and Tom shows Beverly you’re never too old to rip each other clothes off!!! 

Karla's Review

5 Senior Lovin' Stars!! Priceless Perfection!!! Way to go Penny Watson! I can't stop laughing!!

Two things I learned while reading this book:
62 is the new bad boy, and 59 is not too old to get truly and thoroughly LAID for the first time!!! Or, as Tom would say…BANGED!

Bev and Tom are not your typical romantic storybook couple, instead they are very much real and believable. Tom in many respects is socially unacceptable; he drinks and smokes too much, swears like a sailor, and is a cranky, surly man that wants nothing to do with his neighbors. But, for all his faults there is something incredibly sweet about him. Bev is a wallflower, prim and proper, set in her ways, methodical about everything she does. However, she's living right on the edge, you can feel her need to break away from the mundane, and she's practically begging to come out of her shell.  Bev challenges Tom to change aspects in his life and he gives it right back. His shock and awe tactics work, and she goes toe to toe with him, he pushes her, she pushes him and they fall right into each other's arms and then on top of each other! What ensues afterward are some awkward moments with their children, who happen to be married to each other, when they realize that their parents have been doing the horizontal mambo...it was hilarious! Even though they were somewhat uncomfortable with the situation, ultimately they just wanted their parents to be happy...it was very heartwarming and a pleasure to read.

With Penny Watson's creative storytelling and unique brand humor, Apples Should Be Red is the ideal blend of witty fun, sensuality, passion and heart! This is a book is about living, enjoying life, not just existing. It shows that for older adults life can be fun, filled with love, and adventure.  Oh, and sex...let's not forget sex!

Penny Watson tells it like it is!
So Penny, first of all we want to express our utmost thanks to you for writing such an amazing book and for taking the time to answer a few questions. It’s hard to find stories that deal with mature couples finding romance and love, and you hit it out of the park with Apples Should Be Red. As much as we adore reading about the young hotties, there is something appealing, and hopeful, about a romance involving a couple that fall into our age bracket...we being mature women ourselves! We want to shout your praises from the rooftop, but for now let's get to some questions.

SABR: We've read books where the "older couple" is the secondary romance in a book, but very rarely the main characters. What brought about the concept of writing a romance about an older couple as the protagonists?
Penny: First of all, thanks so much for having me on your blog today, and I’m thrilled you enjoyed my novella. Woo hoo!
The reason I decided to write a book with “older” folks is simple.
I’m older.
Once upon a time, I was young. I know. You probably don’t believe me. Here is photographic proof…
Penny went to college!
I was young and stupid and in love and melodramatic.
And then something happened.
I got older.

Almost fifty and still likes sequins!
The truth is, I didn’t like reading “YA” books when I was YA. And I’m not interested in reading YA/NA books now. I have kids who are teens. The last thing I want to read about is teens and their angst, since I’m living it every day.

What I would love to read about in romance is more mature characters, like me, dealing with mature issues. Life after divorce, death of a spouse…characters who have been around the block a few times.
Not that there is anything wrong with sparkly vampires and teen girls and melodramatic angst. I would just rather read about mature folks--with wrinkles and grown-up kids and second chances at life and love.

So, back to your question. Why did I write a romance with an older couple?

Because there aren’t any out there with 60-something characters who are still interesting, sexy, lustful, loving, flawed. I’m tired of the 60-something sidekick thrown in for comedic effect. This age group deserves to be in the spotlight.

SABR: Did you have your doubts that Apples Should Be Red would appeal to readers?
Penny: Absolutely. I wrote a niche book, not mainstream. Younger readers looking for 6-pack abs and tattooed bad boys on motorcycles and lovely young Rapunzels with long flowing hair are not going to like this story. This novella will appeal to folks who like quirky, outside-of-the-box stories, enjoy a funky sense-of-humor, are not offended by profanity, and won’t pass out if folks over the age of twenty-one have sexual intercourse.
I will say that plenty of women have emailed me to say thank-you. Which tells me I’m not alone in my quest for older characters.

SABR: Was it more complicated writing about an older couple as opposed to a younger one? Did you come across any difficulty as you were formulating the plot line due to the age of the characters?
Penny: I actually found it much easier. Since I’m closer in age to these characters than a 20-something heroine/hero, I can relate to them and what they’re dealing with in their lives. 

SABR: Do you see yourself as an innovator in this sub-genre of romance?
Penny: I prefer the term “ballsy.” J
Since I’m self-publishing, I have the freedom to write about any topic I want to. I also accept that this is a “niche” story and I don’t have a problem with that. It would be wonderful to see some of the bigger publishers expand their markets to include romance with more mature characters.
*Penny holds her breath and turns blue*

SABR: One reviewer tagged it as OA (Older Adult)...we like that...how would you tag it?
Penny: I described it as “over-fifty romance” in my book blurb. Other possibilities…
MA = Mature Adults
WP = Wrinkly People
AWRT = Adults Who Remember Typewriters
FWDSWDHS = Folks Who Drink Six-Packs Who Don’t Have Six-Packs
BATBA = Been Around The Block Adults

SABR: You did such a fantastic job writing Apples Should Be Red and showcasing an older couple...it's been very well received. Will you write more in this sub-genre of romance? We certainly hope so!
Penny: I am open to writing about all ages. My next novel has H/h in their late forties. Which is the perfect age when women really blossom and look fabulous! (says Penny, who is 47)

SABR: Do you have anything else in the works at the moment?
Penny: Current WIPs include…
1. Lumberjack novella with hero named Jack.
2. Christmas novella with a Yeti.
3. Cooking reality TV show novel with haggis.
Thanks for having me over today!

Thanks Penny, that was fun! Mature romances rule and we want to spread the word, so when you read Apples Should Be Red and then review, Penny asks if you could be so kind as to post your feelings on Goodreads and Amazon. She thanks you in advance. 

Meet the fabulous Penny Watson (who's in full bloom)

PENNY WATSON is a native Pittsburgher whose love of romance started at the age of twelve when she discovered Gone With The Wind in the middle school library. This resulted in numerous attempts at a first novel involving a young lady with windswept hair who lived in a treehouse.

A biologist by training, Penny has worked at various times as a dolphin trainer, science teacher, florist, and turfgrass researcher (don't ask). After taking time off to raise her two spirited children, she decided to rekindle her passion for storytelling. Now she gets to incorporate her wide array of interests, including gardening, cooking and travel into her works of fiction. Penny lives outside of Boston with one fly-fishing crazed husband, two lively Filipino kids, and a wiener dog.

You can find Penny here: