Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Monday, March 28, 2011

Whirlwind by Robin DeJarnett: Review and Interview

Welcome, Author Robin DeJarnett!

I had the pleasure of reading Robin's novel Whirlwind, and gave it 5 stars! Here's my review:

Whirlwind is a debut Romantic Suspense novel by Robin DeJarnett, featuring Melissa and Jason, two twenty-somethings who meet at a wedding. Sparks fly when they first touch, but romance isn’t the only focal point of the story, as later in the evening a woman is murdered.

Turns out the murderer might now be after Melissa. The book summary includes a great line: “Cinderella lost a shoe—Melissa could lose both her handsome prince and her life”. Ha! This subtle humor pervaded the story and was one reasons of many I adored Whirlwind.

I’m a practical woman, so the idea of love-at-first-sight made me a bit skeptical when I started this novel. By the end, Robin DeJarnett completely convinced me of the realism and beauty of a whirlwind romance! What made me a believer? 1) Melissa and Jason created emotional intimacy before their explosive physical chemistry had a chance to bloom, 2) Their character development was gradual and complex, and 3) The characters maintained their own independence and personalities without becoming enmeshed or losing themselves in each other. But the most compelling reason was Robin’s writing style. It was smooth, sexy, and suspenseful.

I found myself really liking both Melissa and Jason, and the supporting cast was also richly drawn. This is a novel about many kinds of relationships, including romance, friendship, and the deep bonds with our parents. Melissa’s insight about her relationship with her deceased father was poignant and meaningful.

My only complaint: Why oh why did Jason have to attend the University of MICHIGAN? As a resident of Columbus, Ohio, I was very dismayed by that choice but I did have to laugh when his brother named his horse Buckeye just for spite. Go Mitch!

I DEFINITELY recommend Whirlwind, and I eagerly anticipate Robin’s next novel. Bravo! And here's my interview of Robin.

Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Robin! What's been your favorite aspect of being a published author so far?

Robin DeJarnett (RD): Thank you so much for inviting me, Jen. Hmmm, it's hard to say what my favorite aspect is, but I can tell you that I've been blown away by the support of my friends - both online and in person - for the book.  It makes me giggle when my friends ask if they can get a picture with me (they see me all the time!). One friend even made a party game involving the book!  Their interest and support has just been overwhelming.

JL: Your Goodreads author bio says you're a former "engineer, computer administrator, and saleswoman". I've befriended another author, Belinda Kroll, who has a similar background. That fascinates me how seemingly disparate those experiences are from writing romances. What differences/similarities have you found between your former careers and writing?
RD: At first glance, you wouldn't think there'd be much similarity between working in a power plant and writing a romance novel, but looking back now, I see that in all the jobs I've held, I've always looked forward to the little creative projects that came along. Writing isn't something that most people associate with applied sciences like engineering or computer science, but the truth is you don't work in a box by yourself, you have to communicate with others clearly and succinctly. I also got involved in training and teaching others when I got the chance, and was able to stretch my creative legs. One really fun project involved writing the script for a silly little training video about when to call tech support - it involved a rat (made out of rubber) chewing through computer cables. (Sorry, that was pre-YouTube...I'm not sure my VHS still works!)

JL: I enjoyed Melissa's character because she wasn't a girly-girl. What sports are you into?

RD: I'm a fan, mostly.  I love football, baseball (especially minor league), and if you follow me on twitter, you know I love my San Jose Sharks hockey team. The one sport I do play from time to time is golf.
The sports focus in Whirlwind is rodeo, and most of the inspiration for that came from my cousin, Wendi. She participates as an amateur in a sport called penning, which involves a team of three and a herd of cattle. Every cow has a number painted on their back, and when the whistle blows, three numbers are shouted out. Wendi and her teammates have to cut those three cows out of the herd and put them in a pen - in a matter of seconds.  I find it fascinating watching them work. Most of the time Wendi is just along for the ride - once her horse, Jalapena, knows which cow they want, she corners it without any direction from her rider. It's pretty amazing!

JL: How did a "love at first sight" story originate for you? Have you experienced a whirlwind romance yourself?

RD: No, I've never experienced love at first sight. My motto is "Happiness is being married to your best friend." I knew my husband for quite a while before we actually went out.  It wasn't until our first date that I really got to know him - and fell for him. So for me it was "love at first know."
Whirlwind actually came about because a friend challenged me to write a SHORT, spicy sex scene.  Intimate scenes are very hard for me to write...I needed to know why the couple was together, how they met, and what attracted them before I could put them in bed. Since the original story was supposed to be a short story, I hit upon the idea of love at first sight. Little did I know that instant attraction didn't mean instant story! As you know, it took me six chapters to work up to the big scene, and by then, I knew the rest of the story. Completed, Whirlwind was novel length, and here we are!

JL: Clearly you chose the wrong school for Jason to attend. ;-) Tell us about your interest in the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. the University of Michigan Wolverines.

RD:  Hahaha! Now I really have to thank you - I can imagine how hard it was for you to read about my true BLUE hero and interview a Wolverine fan! :-D

My husband was born in Michigan bleeds blue (of course!), so it was natural for  Jason to have a tie to U of M (Jason is not my husband, btw). My husband didn't attend the U of M, but my good friend, Killian McRae, did. :-) I do love the Wolverines, and have visited the campus and Big House a couple times.

JL: It seemed like Melissa's tattoo had some significance to you but I think I missed that. Care to elaborate on the tattoo?

RD: Melissa's tattoo is very special to her - it's a permanent tribute to her father. It's something she came up with, I just wrote it down.  I don't have any tattoos and will be having dinner with both my parents on Friday.
JL: I'm looking forward to reading more novels written by you! What are you working on now?
RD: I'm currently working on finishing the first draft of Quicksand - the sequel to Whirlwind. You're going to get a big dose of M Go Blue in that one! I get to indulge in my love of minor league baseball as well.

I don't have a blurb for Quicksand yet, but the story will revolve around Melissa trying to fit into Jason's life and facing his past...including that almost-fiancee mentioned in Whirlwind. When Melissa suspects Jason's best friend may be involved in something nefarious, Jason has to decide if he's going to trust her instincts or his experience. Let's just say our happy couple has a few issues to work out...

I'm also working on the outline for book 3 in Jason and Melissa's story.  Mitch (Jason's steer-wrestling brother) has a starring role in that installment.

Thank you, Robin!


You know what time it is! Time for Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop, hosted by Lisa Sanchez. You've just met Robin, now meet other authors on the hop.
 

11 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

hi. i just figured out that you're one of the authors on Karen's website for Celery Tree. nice to meet you.

ketch1714 said...

Awesome review, Jen!!! And can't wait from the interview!!!
Hope you are having a wonderful Monday!

Jemima Valentino said...

Great review! I love meeting and hearing about new authors, there is sooo much talent out there. This book looks awesome, I'll check it out.

Come on over and meet S.L Pierce, new indie author of female lead thrillers. I'm interviewing her today for the Monday Meet an Author Blog Hop.

Happy Monday!

Jemima

http://jemimavalentino.blogspot.com/

Nicki Elson said...

Oh awesome! The love at first sight usually throws me too but now I'm so excited to see how these character (and Miss Robin) pull it off. :)

Lisa said...

What a fun and entertaining interview! OH, and a fantastic review of Whirlwind!
Here is my complaint: I couldn't decide who I liked better: Jason or Mitch. Okay, that's not a complaint at all! I actually really loved having two such strong male characters in one book--without the love triangle. Obviously I'm trilled about book 3 featuring Mitch! Write faster, Robin <3

ketch1714 said...

Awesome! You got the interview up!

This was a great interview, guys - wonderful questions and amazing answers!!! I really loved it, especially the school pride! Thanks, Robin! Thanks, Jen!

Jennifer Lane said...

Michelle, thanks for stopping by. Your book(s) will be up on Celery Tree too? What are their titles?

Kelsey, thanks for visiting twice.

Jemima, try this book--you'll love it. I guess we thought alike today, interviewing great authors on our blogs.

Nicki--I'd say Robin was quite successful at pulling it off!

Lisa--I liked Mitch too but I quickly got on board with Jason. I like how they teased each other a lot.

Janine said...

Sounds like something I want to read!
Way to “sell” a novel!

I like that Melissa’s not a “girly girl”…

How interesting about penning! -– I’m impressed with the horses!! (the people too ;)

“Love at first know” – I like that.

Robin sounds like YOU Jen! …with her novel length “short story”… ;D

LOL at the university alumni rivalry!

Best of luck with the rest of the series, Robin! Thanks for another great blog post, Jen!

Jennifer Lane said...

You'd enjoy Whirlwind, Janine. I'd never heard of "penning" before--sounds entertaining to watch!

I hope Robin has more word control than me. ;)

Julie Musil said...

This sounds like my kind of book! I love it when emotional relationships build, creating depth in a story. Thanks for the review and the great interview.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hey Julie,
Since we seem to have very similar tastes, I think you'd indeed love Whirlwind. :)

 


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