Honestly, there’s a little bit of me in each of them. I’m a damaged but hopeless romantic like Dani (Chocolate & Beer); I’m a helicopter mom who enjoys being a ball-busting business woman like Quinn (Diamonds & Spades); and I’ve had my fair share of tragedies while still believing in hope and happiness like Lia (Tussles & Takedowns). I think I’m the most like Lia on the inside (not just because of her ties to MMA) but because of how she views life. But if you ask my friends, hands down, they’d say I’m the most like Xoey (Exes & Ohs). She has predominantly guy friends, she becomes a hilarious 'genius' when she’s drunk, and she believes wholeheartedly that we should all be “unafraid to jump into love ass first.” *grin*
2. If you could cast anyone to play in a Cactus Creek Movie who would you pick?
Love, Chocolate, and Beer
-- For Dani, I’ve always pictured Chyler Leigh (when she first started Grey’s Anatomy), but now that I’ve seen Pitch Perfect 2 and developed a massive girl crush on Anna Kendrick, I have to go with her. LOL!
-- Jensen Ackles. He has that ridiculously hot guy next door look about him with eyes I get stupid over, and an unforgettable presence. A lot like how I imagine Luke to be.
Love, Diamonds, and Spades
-- If Katharine McPhee (I LOVE her in Scorpion) was blond, I’d say she’d be a lock for Quinn but since she’s not, I’d say without a doubt, Dianna Agron. Bonus that she plays a Quinn on Glee. ;)
-- Paul Walker. Effortlessly good looking, bluntly romantic, intensely focused. With a sexy, masculine smile and giant heart you can’t help but fall for. Yep, that’s Rylan.
Love, Tussles, and Takedowns
-- I mostly pictured old school kung-fu movie actresses when writing Lia’s martial arts scenes, but in the broader sense, in my mind, I saw Maggie Q (fellow local girl from Hawai‘i – woot!). However, I have this this thing about Hollywood cross-casting Asians (I’m Japanese and can always tell when they cast a non-Japanese actress to play a Japanese role). LOL! So since Maggie Q isn’t of Chinese descent like Lia is, I’d say it would be a tie between Kelly Hu (my husband crushes on her big time) and Kristin Kreuk.
-- Justice Joslin. Holy moly. He makes scruffy look so freaking good. Everything about him reminds me of Hudson. And yes, I made sure to study every single inch of him to make sure. :)
Love, Exes, and Ohs
-- Elsa Pataky. Totally. She’s got the same exotic Spanish look as Xoey and she's beautifully tough. Plus, she’s married to Thor. So...yeah, that raises her in the awesome plane that I believe Xoey exists on. LOL!
-- Josh Duhamel. He has that quiet sexiness and innate kindness that Isaac is all about – the kind that sneaks up on you and never lets go...he just looks like he’d wait on his best friend to fall in love (and lust) with him. Like Isaac does.
3. What do you love most about the Cactus Creek series?
That the folks in Cactus Creek are so down to earth, but fantastically original at the same time. The town is just so weird and quirky (which, wildly accurate rumors would claim I am as well). And the main characters are all fun and real -- I just want to become best friends with all of ‘em! My fans tell me that each of the couples' stories are so different from each other. I LOVE hearing this. The Cactus Creek cast is definitely a motley crew, and they each fell in love in such unique ways. I think that's also my favorite part of the series -- that I've gotten to fall in love in so many different ways through the characters' stories.
4. Which couple do you have a soft spot for in the Cactus Creek series?
Ack! Wow, this one is hard. Dani & Luke have been with me as a couple for the longest -- I wrote them long before I wrote my first series (the Can’t Resist series). Isaac & Xoey’s story burrowed into my heart the fastest (almost as far back as Dani & Luke) and developed the most the more I got to know them. Rylan & Quinn was actually a fan favorite who I delved into more by rabid fan request, and when I did, good lord, I fell hard for Rylan. But I think I’d have to say I have the softest spot for Hudson and Lia. Those two have had such rough lives, and they’re both such amazingly good people. I admire them, and think that as a couple, they inspire me even more.
5. You are releasing a brand new series, The Unfinished Love Series. What are you most excited for readers to know about this release?
The tagline of the series is: Four brothers, each fighting for their second first chance at love. Years be damned. And that’s what I’m most excited about. Readers meet the Spencer brothers (Caine, Gabe, Max, and Drew) in Tussles & Takedowns (and the oldest brother Caine again in Exes & Ohs). But in this new series,, they get to see a whole, intensely romantic side to them in the Unfinished Love series. The couples’ storylines are more emotional than my other books, and in a way fuller as well since each couple in this series gets two books. If my first series (Can’t Resist) and my second series (Cactus Creek) had a romantically complex, slightly rebellious, ruggedly tender offspring, the Unfinished Love series would be it. *grin*
He may very well be the perfect ex...
Isaac McKnight has had enough loss in his life to know never to take anything for granted. So when the perfectly-imperfect-woman-for-him puts an end to their relationship out of the blue, it's Isaac that makes sure they remain friends. Now a year later, whether it's at his gym or her brewpub, or the dog park they visit every weekend--though neither of them own a dog--he and Xoey are steadily getting sucked deeper into buddy-zone galaxy, with its dangerous proximity to watch-me-settle-down-with-someone-else abyss. It's a reality he's resigned himself to. That is...until one drunken confession changes everything.
But she's looking for the perfect oh...
For Xoey Montenegro, history has taught her that sometimes, it's Prince Charming who vanishes without a trace. And fairytale love? Highly overrated. Heck, give her a real and perfect 'oh' over that fantasy any day. So as far as rock-solid tequila-fueled plans for her love life go, coming up with a match-finding formula based on the qualities of the men responsible for her three most epic ohs seems brilliant. Except for the fact that one-third of her genius little man-quation is all about her friend Isaac. Actually, more than a third if Xoey were being honest with herself--which she's not. Because full honesty would require thinking not just about how perfect Isaac really is, but also about how perfect the fourth epic oh she's kept buried deep in her past once was.
An easy enough thing to keep ignoring...until her past isn't past tense anymore.
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NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her NYT and USA Today bestselling books have been Top 10 bestsellers across the major eretailers both in the US and internationally. When she's not writing or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking 'special edition' dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. A born and raised island girl, she spends her days getting into creatively fun trouble in Hawai'i alongside her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband.
Find the latest on her books and fan giveaways at www.facebook.com/VioletDukeBooks