Debbie: Morning all. Today we are at the Misbegotten Ranch talking with Camryn Rhys about her new release Misbegotten Gaines and a few other things…like sweaty cowboys.
Laura: Sweaty cowboys? Where?
Debbie: Well, we’re on a dude ranch, they gotta be here somewhere, only stands to reason.
Laura: True. I’m just thankful we’re not around any water this interview…the hooded guy might’ve shown up.
Debbie: You had to go and mention the hooded guy. If he manages to find us way out here, that’s it. I’m done.
Laura: No worries. As I said, there’s no river or pond or angry sea around. We should be safe. The dude seems to travel in a boat for some reason. Besides… (holds up coin) …if he ever does show up again, I’ll be prepared.
Debbie: And what if one day he wants more than a shiny coin? Okay, lets stop ignoring Camryn.
DEBBIE: So you’re a foodie, what got you interested in food and cooking?
CAMRYN: I am a foodie, for sure. I ran my own restaurant for several years and was a chef probably almost before I was anything else. If I didn’t love writing so much, I would still be cooking. But I definitely like what I’m doing now. Foodie romance is like the best of both worlds for me.
LAURA: I bet. And really…there’s just something sexy about food. All the simmering and basting. Mmm…
DEBBIE: LMAO! Simmering and basting, sheesh. The sexy part of food for me is the cooking together. Of course I really wouldn’t know for sure since the ex never cooked with me. But have you seen that picture of the naked guy with just a mixing bowl. Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!
LAURA: Yes, I did and it looked like maybe pancake batter. But let’s be realistic here…if some hunky dude is in the kitchen cooking, it’s not the pancake’s I’ll be interested in. LOL Sooo, Camryn! Your story is set on a dude ranch. Have you ever been on one? Are there really tons of hot guys wandering around in chaps? Shritless and sweaty?
CAMRYN: I have been on a dude ranch. I wouldn’t say there are “tons” of hot guys. In fact, the actual hot ones are few and far between. But there are plenty of shirtless and sweaty men. They typically only wander around in chaps if there’s hard riding to be done. But even that, occasionally. J
DEBBIE: You’re ruining the image for me, (turns to Laura) She’s not telling me what I want to hear. Tell her to lie next time.
LAURA: Um, Camryn…next time lie! Though, I’m surprised Debbie didn’t latch onto “plenty of shirtless and sweaty men” and stop listening there. I figured she’d be in her ‘happy place’ with that image. So, when did you start writing?
CAMRYN: Of course, I’ve been writing most of my life. But I started writing professionally about five years ago. It’s been a good five years, and I’m very happy with the results. I hope to be able to do it for the rest of my life.
LAURA: With the stories you write, hon, you will be for sure! LOL I’ve read Misbegotten Gaines and it was H.O.T. Jamie and Kyle really burned up the pages.
DEBBIE: Okay, I sooooo need to read this book! Life is too dull for me these days. I need to live vicariously through other people’s characters. Camryn, did you always want to be a writer?
CAMRYN: Initially, I wanted to be a rock star, only. And I wasn’t going to accept anything else. Then, I wanted to be a teacher. Then a chef. Then… and on and on. By being a writer, I get to write about being all those things and be them in some turn.
DEBBIE: LOL @ rock star. I think we all had that dream at one point or another. I wanted to be a marine biologist then I wanted to join the navy and be a cook on one of their ships, lol.
LAURA: I wanted to be President. Thank God that dream died!! LOL What genres do you write, Camryn? Which is your favorite, and why?
CAMRYN: I write contemporary erotic and historical paranormal and Steampunk. I love them all. I don’t know if I could choose a favorite, really, because they’re all so different, and they each provide me with something unique to think about, research, and experience.
LAURA: Well, you should add western to your list, too, lady. What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
CAMRYN: My favorite part is definitely the idea part. The exploration, plotting, beginning. I’m not sure I have a least favorite, per se, but definitely the hardest for me is the ending. That probably won’t surprise anyone who reads my books. I tend to end abruptly, hoping the story will continue in the next book. J I’m working on it…
LAURA: I agree. Debbie and I have a blast coming up with plots and characters, knocking around ideas and possibilities.
DEBBIE: Yes, Laura particularly like torturing our characters, not only physically, but loves to put them through the emotional ringer, or was that me?
LAURA: That was you, hon. I just have them shot and blown up. You’re good at squeezing them through that ringer, hitting ‘em where it really hurts. Camryn, I do hope your comment on ‘hoping the story will continue in the next book’ means we’ll be seeing Jamie and Kyle again. Tell us, what is a typical day like for you?
CAMRYN: Well, I work a very demanding job, and I’m typically at work between ten and twelve hours a day. I usually check my emails during the day on my breaks, and try to take care of any writing-related business. Then, when I get home, I either work on promo (like this) or try to sneak in some writing, and I generally write until quite late. I work upwards of 7 days a week some weeks, so if I do get a day off, I generally do errands, clean, and then try to write my proverbial butt off. When I finally climb into bed, I get to talk to my boyfriend for about ten minutes before I go to sleep. Otherwise, he (who also works about 85 hours a week) and I rarely see each other. But I keep telling myself, it’s a season. And it’s not unlike being a chef, where the hours and days are long, but the time off is sweet.
DEBBIE: I’m tired just reading all that, but it seems as if you are enjoying all that work, so my hat is off to you. Just make sure you don’t burn yourself out. What is your favorite show on The Food Network? And who is your favorite celebrity chef?
CAMRYN: Ooooh, now that’s a hard question. There are so many great shows. I think I tend to like the competitive shows the best. Huge fan of Chopped. My favorite celebrity chef is Chuck Hughes. That’s an easy one. I love his show and the whole concept of it (Chuck’s Day Off), but more than that, I just love that guy. He has this incredible capacity for seeing the best in the world, and yet he’s so driven for excellence. That’s so hard to find. Plus, he’s a fantastic chef! And it doesn’t hurt that he’s super hot. J
DEBBIE: I was surprised he didn’t make it farther on The Next Iron Chef. I thought for sure he was going to be in the finals.
LAURA: See? All that simmering and basting…and a hot chef, too. Too bad he can’t cook shirtless! But that might be a tad dangerous… LOL So, hey…your story is set in the fiction town of Freewill, Wyoming. Tell us how the town and Western Escape series came about.
CAMRYN: It’s a small town, based on the town of Rawlins, Wyoming. Decadent decided they wanted to do a Western Series and contacted me to be one of the initial release authors, so I had a chance to help create the town, and the Gaines family. Two other authors, four editors, and myself, all gathered in a chat room for a few hours. It was a complete blast.
LAURA: I bet. And there’s that fav part of yours again…the beginning, the creation and idea part. I bet it was a blast.
DEBBIE: It sounds like a really exciting series. I love my cowboys, so I’m definitely interested on how this series goes. If it takes off like Decadent’s 1NS it’ll be a huge success. What was your inspiration for the lead characters of Misbegotten Gaines, Kyle Harris and Jamie Gaines?
CAMRYN: Honestly, the inspiration for my characters always comes from the concepts themselves. I knew I wanted to have a family descended from free slaves who owned this ranch near Freewill. And then I wanted to be able to bring a chef in, and things just grew from there.
DEBBIE: A sexy chef too. Yummy!
LAURA: Any hobbies in all your spare time?
CAMRYN: I definitely count cooking as one of my hobbies. And I have to keep it up if for no other reason than to have things to write about. I do a lot of test-kitchen nights, when I just hole up in my little kitchen and start making food. Other than cooking, I also play the piano and sing. I love to read. I crochet when I have time, I scrapbook occasionally, and I love good TV and movies.
DEBBIE: I bet friends and family just love your test-kitchen nights. I love to do that myself. Care to share a decadent recipe with us?
CAMRYN: I could give you a preview of the recipe in the back of my Misbegotten Gaines book. Kyle makes these delicious potatoes… partially baked potatoes, sliced, fried over medium heat in full fat butter, and sprinkled with fresh-cut rosemary. It sounds like a simple recipe, but I guarantee, the dark, smoky crack of that first potato will be a little piece of heaven, so savor it appropriately. ;)
DEBBIE: Oh I bet it’s awesome.
LAURA: Share! Share!
DEBBIE: The potatoes or Kyle?
LAURA: The potatoes, silly. Though after you read Camryn’s book, you might be more interested in Kyle! And speaking of sharing…any juicy secrets you care to share? Don’t worry, we won’t tell… lol Well, maybe a little.
CAMRYN: I wish. My life is so boring. I have no juicy secrets.
DEBBIE: Hmm, I’ve recently joined the boring life club, lol.
LAURA: Well, drat. I’m there, too. Now, if we’d mentioned chaotic or explosive, well I might have a story or two. But my kids and rockets aren’t exactly secrets. What about bad habits?
CAMRYN: I’m such a procrastinator. I’m trying to be better, but I definitely have my moments, still. It’s so easy for me to fall back on old habits, but I’m trying to stretch out my deadlines and hold to them. It’s much easier with lots of projects on the burner.
DEBBIE: Hah, procrastination is our middle name, lol. Luckily, as writing partners, when one of us feels like slacking off (usually me) the other is there to kick-start the workflow again.
LAURA: (snort) I know there’ve been days when you’ve had to kick me into gear. Several times in one day even. LOL But thankfully we’re both good with the kicking and poking and stomping on feet and elbowing and jabbing of the eye. <g> (turns to Camryn) So, what I want to know is will there be more Western Escape stories with Jamie and Kyle in them?
CAMRYN: Definitely. They won’t be romantic leads, but they’ll definitely be characters. Right now, I’m hoping to work on Brady’s (Jamie’s brother’s) story next. Both Kyle and Jamie will feature in this story… for reasons I will leave to unfold…
LAURA: Yay! I was sooo wanting to read Brady’s story. He was a very interesting character in Misbegotten Gaines. So, hey…get to writing, chickie. No procrastinating! LOL And speaking of writing, any new WIPs?
CAMRYN: I’m working to finish both my Western Escapes book and my Steampunk sequel. I’m also working on a contemporary erotic novel that I’ve been working on for quite awhile. I’m looking forward to being done with it.
LAURA: Very cool. I know readers look forward to your next story.
DEBBIE: I KNOW I will have read this story before this interview even gets posted, lol. If Laura says it’s a must read, then I’m on it.
LAURA: You’ll love it! (arches eyebrow) So, Madam Debbie…I believe ‘tis your turn…
DEBBIE: Okay we have a signature crazy question for the end of our interviews. Here ya go… You’re out in the middle of Wyoming on a trail ride with Michael Symon, Guy Fieri and Marc Forgione. (Notice I left the women at home.) From out of nowhere, Ted Allen from Chopped shows up with four baskets for your challenge. You open the baskets and inside are an Avacado, Lima beans, Beef tongue, chocolate syrup and a bottle of Red wine. Your judge is Bobby Flay. What do you do with this basket in order beat the other chefs, win the challenge and not be chopped? Remember, the only supplies you have are whatever you are carrying on your horse.
CAMRYN: I pour chocolate syrup all over myself and make myself the entre. I’m pretty sure none of them would complain… ;)
DEBBIE: EXACTLY what I would have said!
LAURA: Really, Debbie? I know you got into those finger paints at the art studio when we interviewed Fierce Dolan… Hmm…now that I think about it, you did get a LOT of paint on yourself. And the nekkid model.
DEBBIE: Why do you think I added the chocolate syrup into the basket? What better way to win? Men may not claim to like chocolate as much as woman do, but come on, you KNOW they do.
LAURA: You betcha! LOL And to you, Camryn, excellent answer! Extra points for creativity and double points for using chocolate in your answer! Thank you so much for stopping by. Oh, wait…I have to go catch Debbie. She’s heading off to talk to some sweaty dude and if she’s got chocolate syrup on the brain…well, no telling what might happen.
Debbie: Now come on, I am slightly selective.
Laura: Then where are you headed off to in such a hurry? I thought it was that guy by the fence. Hmm…wonder if the coffee is any good around here.
Debbie: (shaking my damn head!) All this hot, sexy cowboy flesh and she’s after coffee. Why am I not surprised.
Kyle Harris lands a job as the new chef at the Misbegotten Gaines Ranch just in time for the launch of their new Singles' Trail Ride. When his new boss, the alluring Jamie Gaines, mistakenly believes him to be married, he goes along with the ruse to keep his job. But things start to heat up between them and Kyle has to choose between losing his job and letting Jamie get away.
When a guy says he’s gonna work on a dude ranch, he kinda expects it to be run by…well, dudes. Instead, the only two people Kyle Harris could see when he pulled up to the Misbegotten Gaines Dude Ranch were women. And they were hot with a capital H-O-T.
Hot enough that it got a little toastier in his car, and in his formerly roomy boxers under his jeans. Kyle had big plans for spending long days at his new job out on the dusty trail with men he could consider his brothers. Guys always looked tight in those John Wayne movies his mom used to watch. He had a feeling the wild would do that to a guy.
But being in the Wyoming wilderness with two gorgeous women would not lead to any camaraderie among the men. Nor would it lead to silent nights around the campfire eating beans from a can and drinking coffee from a tin cup while the coyotes yowled against the midnight sky.
Okay, so maybe he paid a little more attention during those movies than he’d like to admit. But still. The kind of backside(s) he could see promised a lot of things, and none of them peaceful. Maybe he wouldn’t have to extend his sex hiatus after all.
Camryn Rhys grew up on the border of Canada and the US, and still hasn’t decided which country to call home. She splits her time between the Alberta and Montana Rocky Mountains, with friends and family in both beautiful locations. After running her own restaurant for several years and acquiring advanced degrees in writing, foodie romance seemed the only logical option. When she’s not watching the Food Network, she’s reading a romance novel, or if absolutely necessary, working as a consultant. Someone has to put really excellent food on the table.