Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interview with Beth Ciotta + Giveaway!

Beth Ciotta, author of Into the Wild, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to answer some questions.

Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Limiting herself to one sub-genre does not. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction. “I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!”

Beth lives in New Jersey with her husband, two zany dogs, and one crazy cat. Although writing takes up most of her time, she still performs occasionally as a singer, character actress, emcee and storyteller. To support literacy, Beth also works at her local library. 

Reading with Tequila: The main character of your new book, Into the Wild, is Spenser McGraw and fans of Out of Eden will recognize him as Kylie's brother. Is Into the Wild a sequel or a spin-off? And is there any chance Kylie and Jack might appear?

Beth: I suppose you could call Into the Wild a sequel and a spin-off. The story picks up several months after Out of Eden ended. Jack and Kylie (of Out of Eden) are gearing up for their ‘official’ wedding and River Kane (of Into the Wild) is their chosen wedding photographer. When River alerts Kylie that she needs to fly unexpectedly to South America to ‘get back her life’ and that she should consider hiring another photographer because she’s not sure she’ll be back in time for the wedding, Kylie calls her brother, Spenser, who just so happens to be in South America, and asks him to look out for her new, vulnerable friend. Ah, yes. That’s when the fun begins. As for Kylie and Jack, they do indeed sneak back in!

RWT: Romance is more commonly written from a woman's perspective. Did you experience any noticeable differences writing Spenser as a lead as opposed to a female character? Was it more challenging?

Beth: Personally, I think it’s always more challenging to write from a man’s perspective because, hey, I’m not a guy. I don’t talk or think like one so writing from the hero’s perspective is definitely tricky. Since I want my characters to ring true, I work hard at writing them genuinely. I listen, really listen to the men around me as they speak and I zone in on thoughts, behavior, and speech patterns via TV, movies, books, and various Internet loops.

RWT: The jail cell scene in Out of Eden was one of the sexiest scenes I've had the pleasure to read. Do you have any guidelines for yourself when writing steamier scenes?

Beth: Really? You thought it was that sexy? I’m flattered! I’ll be honest, I don’t think of myself as a steamy writer. Or maybe I should say a steamy person. I’m sort of old fashioned and private so when it comes to the sex scenes I try not to ‘think’ about what I’m writing. I just immerse myself in the characters and let them ‘live’. When it comes to sex scenes, my husband once told me not to think about the ‘words’. “Just write whatever comes to mind.” Golden advice.

RWT: What is it like being on both the creative side and distribution side of the literary world, by working in a library and being an author? Does one ever effect the other?

Beth: Great question. At first, when you said ‘distribution side’ my mind went to ‘promotion’. Meaning the side of me that, given the state of the industry, must focus on tooting my own horn. Honestly, I don’t enjoy that part. It’s embarrassing in a way. But working in a library? That’s glorious! I get to talk about books, other author’s books, all day. It’s interesting to know what people are reading. What excites them and what disappoints. And I relish the opportunity to turn a reader on to a writer I adore. I never mention that I’m an author myself, although, when the moment’s prime, my co-workers do.

Oh! One of my favorite stories about being on ‘both sides of the fence’. There’s one particular patron who shares my taste in books and we’re always trading thoughts on new favorite reads. A couple of months ago she returned a book to the circulation desk and started raving about how sweet and fun it was. She said she’d never read this author before and was really charmed. She raved on and though I was smiling my cheeks were burning. The book was Out of Eden. I thought she was teasing me and finally my co-worker said, “You do realize Beth wrote that book, right?” The patron was stunned. Talk about a genuine compliment! Moments like that are one in a million.

I love writing, creating characters and spinning stories, and consider myself very fortunate to be published. Sometimes, most of the time, it’s surreal. I’m living the dream… or at least my dream. If even one reader lives and dreams vicariously through my stories then life is good. Really, really good.

About the Book

When River Kane's fiancĂ© abandons her at the altar for being too conventional, she's heartbroken. But everything changes when her estranged archaeologist father sends her his journal—filled with cryptic maps and a note indicating he's in mortal danger. Worried, River faces her greatest fears and flies to the Amazon to find him. But she needs a guide. Someone completely unlike danger-seeker Spenser McGraw.

A charismatic treasure hunter who thrives on risk, Spenser hosts the popular TV show Into the Wild, dedicated to locating lost treasures and mythical icons. But River's father's life depends on discretion, and too-sexy Spenser is all about publicity. Forced to team up, they embark on a jungle adventure ripe with temptation and danger…ultimately discovering a hidden treasure that could alter history—and a steamy love neither expected.

Buy Into the Wild on Amazon
Beth Ciotta's website
Beth's blog
Beth on Facebook
Beth on Twitter


Beth has offered to send one lucky reader a copy of Into the Wild. To enter, leave a comment for Beth.

US only. Deadline for entry is Monday, September 6, 2010 at 11:59pm EST.


  1. Into the Wild looks like a fun spin-off! Thanks for the tidbits!

  2. This sounds like a fun read. Conventional girl meets unconventional guy, should make for some fun times.

  3. Beth this sounds like a really great book. I have never read any of your books before but I would like to. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  4. Hi Beth, Your books sound like fun reads so I went to your website to check them out. I love your story line and now I want to read both of your books. I also love HEA so this seals the deal. lol
    Question; When did you decide that writing was what you really wanted to do? How long did it take for you to have your first book published?
    Thanks for stopping by to chat with us. I have added you as a new author and your books on my wish list.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  5. holdenj, thanks for chiming in. I must admit I had a great time writing this story!

  6. "Conventional girl meets unconventional guy..." That's a perfect description of Spenser and River. Linda. Made for great sparks! :)

  7. Consider yourself entered, Tore! Thanks so much for chiming in.

  8. Hi, Miss Kallie! You sure know how to make a gal feel welcome. Thank you for taking the time to check out my website. Love that I'm part of your 'wish list.' As to your question...

    Long story short: I used to read romance novels when I was in high school, but drifted to mysteries and biographies for several years after. One night (in my early 30s), I picked up a romance novel on a whim and DEVOURED the story. I was so entranced, so inspired, I knew that moment that I wanted to write novels--specifically romance novels. I started studying the craft and writing in 1994 and was first published in 2001. I've never looked back. It's the best!

    Thanks for asking!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. What is the jail cell scene? I'm wildly curious!

    Thanks for the interview, Jenn! Again, you have introduced me to another new author!

    Beth, is it a good idea to read the books in order? Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I enjoyed the interview and this sounds like a fun book. I have never read any of your books but would love too, thanks for the chance.


  12. "What is the jail cell scene?"

    You'll have to read it in context, Missie. Makes it all the hotter. *g* Hint: it involves Kylie and Jack.

    As for reading OUT OF EDEN and INTO THE WILD in order, no, I don't think you have to. The reader is introduced to Spenser (the hero of ITW) in OOE, but nothing crucial is shared that you can't pick up in ITW.

    Thank you for being here!

  13. Hi, Myra. All I can say is that I had a blast putting myself in River's shoes. Well, except maybe for the bandit part and the bog part. Scary stuff. But the rest? Adreneline packed adventure with a sexy treasure hunter? Woo-hoo! ;)

  14. Beth, wow! I checked out your other books on your website and the diversity is very interesting! I checked out several and am even more excited about possibly winning this book of yours. I think I may have found another author to follow. I love when a book has a little of everything in them. I like to laugh but, I need something more to keep me reading and it looks like your books may have it all! Thanks, for the interview.

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

  15. Hi, gcpeach and thanks so much for your awesome comments! Although there's a lot of humor in my books (no matter the sub-genre), there are always deeper issues. Sometimes dark. Somehow it all balances out and, in the end, I hope I've touched the reader on many levels.

    Thank you for checking me out! (Hmm. That sounded strange didn't it?) *g*

  16. Hay count me in I have not read your books yet But thay sound great.Can't wait to read them

  17. You are really killing my book ban...

    Great interview! I hadn't heard of these books before, but I'm off to look up the first in the series. Thanks!!

  18. Sounds like a great book! Please enter me for it.

    I follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  19. Beth, how could you not think you write "steamy" scenes??? OMG, I've had to put down some of your books so I could cool off (wouldn't have wanted to cool off if I had had a man available, but alas...). You're one of the best!

    Phyllis Coppolino
    (Your favorite fan)

  20. Hi, Stacey! Counting you in and.... thanks!

    Tara... thanks for making me smile. Goodluck!

    Martha... consider yourself entered. Thanks for joining us.

  21. Wow, Phyllis! What can I say? You just made my week. So humbled... and thrilled! Thank you!

  22. the jail cell scene definitely has my interest peeked! I have not read one of your books yet but this one sounds like a winner.

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. With a glowing recommendation, I am looking forward to reading Into The Wild. Winning the book would be fabulous!

  24. This book sounds great, and I love the cover! Thanks for a chance to win.


  25. Beth, what a fabulous compliment to have walked into! But not surprising! Your books are real keepers! Congrats on living the dream, and letting us readers live vicariously when we read your boks!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  26. Wow. So many new comments and entries! I truly appreciate the interest and kind words. Good luck everyone!

  27. This one looks good. I like to read books from a male prospective for a change of pace.

  28. This sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for the chance!
    digicat {AT} sbcglobal {DOT} net

  29. Hi, I love comedy, you can never smile enough! Thanks so much for the contest!

  30. Wow :) This book looks like it's got a lot going on, the drama, love ;), action...so basically, it looks amazing! :D
    Thanks for giving away a copy, I'd love to be entered to win it! :D

    Ambur (ambiepie_6(@)hotmail.com)

  31. Looks like a great book. I love the mix of the action and treasure hunt. The addition of the TV show throws a little bit of a modern twist in there.

    please enter me in the giveaway

  32. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net