July 1, 2014

Catch Your Breath

Shannyn Schroeder is here with us today with many many good things!!! She is going to tell us about her research for Catch Your Breath. There is also an excerpt and Giveaway!!!! So fun right?!



Catch Your Breath
The O'Learys Book #4
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing July 3rd, 2014

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As kids they steered clear of one another–but now a beautiful, well-connected reporter and a sexy, driven detective are all grown-up and on the job. . .

Moira O'Leary's work as a reporter gives her access to some of Chicago's swankiest soirĂ©es. She knows how to navigate the jet-set crowd, and her style and confidence help her blend right in. But when her childhood crush starts popping up at posh events, her poise begins to falter–until she realizes she has the upper hand in a high-stakes game of secrets and seduction. . .

Jimmy O'Malley has always tried to avoid his friend Liam's little sister. Something about Moira spelled trouble. But he's out of his element working undercover in Chicago's high society, and Moira is his ticket to the inner circle. As sparks begin to fly–and their chemistry heats up–Moira gets dangerously close to his investigation. 

Will Jimmy be forced to push her away to keep her safe–or will they surrender to a desire that could leave them breathless?


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Catch Your Breath - Excerpt

This scene takes place during the first charity event where Jimmy is undercover and where Moira is supposed to help cement his cover story.

Jimmy followed Stan's line of sight to see Moira walking by. She wore a bright yellow dress. It was sleeveless, but covered her chest to her neck. He was wrong—not seeing the cleavage didn't make her less sexy. This dress clung to all her curves.

Her mouth tilted up at the corners.

Stan leaned over. "I think she's eyeing you, James. She came asking for you the other night. It'd be great if you could put a good word in for me."

Jimmy stiffened and wanted to smack Stan Decker, but Moira's eyes shifted to tell him not to. Had she heard what this asshole said?

"Mr. Buchanan, it's so nice to see you again. I've been trying to track you down for an interview." She paused, her smile widening. "Moira O'Leary. Please tell me you haven't forgotten me."

"How would that be possible?" He took her hand and leaned over to kiss her cheek. It was every bit as soft and smooth as he imagined.

Stan looked astonished. "You two know each other?"

Moira looked him in the face, which was quite a feat because the man continued to stare at her chest. "We met a few months back when he was visiting Mayor Park. At the time he was considering moving here and we spent some time talking about the city. I'd like to think I had a hand in his decision to move here."

"Really?" Stan elbowed him like they were frat bothers.

"Yes. His wife was so lovely. She couldn't wait to get involved with some of the charities here."

Wife? What the hell was Moira doing? He didn't have a goddamn wife. She just threw him under the bus and destroyed their entire operation.

"Your wife, huh?" Stan snickered.

"When will she be joining you?" Moira continued. "I was hoping to be able to interview the two of you together."

Jimmy unclenched his jaw. "Soon, I hope. She had to tie up some loose ends in Boston."

Moira waved a hand in the air. "Can't you hire someone to wrap things up? At the rate she's going, she'll miss all the best events. There's nothing like summer in the city."

She glanced over her shoulder. "Oh, I have to go. I'll be in touch about that interview." She leaned up as if to kiss his cheek, but whispered, "Play along with them. Laugh at their crude humor. You'll fit right in."
And then she swooshed away.

"Please, James, tell me you got a piece of that."

His anger returned twofold and his blood ran hot. Stan Decker was an asshole. "What?"

"Come on, wife's out of town, and that little number is hunting you down."
Remembering Moira's advice, Jimmy eased into his best playboy smile. "Not yet. But I have high hopes for this interview to work out to be one on one."

"We definitely want the details," Len said.

Nick waved at someone across the lawn. "Looks like the wives want our attention, gentlemen."

Marcus extended his hand. "Good to meet you, James. Enjoy your freedom. Once our wives meet yours, you'll be stuck in the pack."
immy gnawed on the idea for a while. He left his glass of champagne on the table and decided to walk through the park. He spied Gabby serving hors d'oeuvres. She made a beeline for him with her tray.

"Anything interesting?" she asked.

"I'm going to kill Moira and then I might follow up on you."

"What happened?" A crease formed in between Gabby's eyebrows.

"She told these guys I had a wife. How the hell am I supposed to produce a wife?"
Gabby handed him a napkin. "Did you think maybe she had a reason?"

No, he hadn't given it any thought, other than Moira wanted to fuck with him. He snatched a crab cake from the tray and moved on. He stopped and listened to a woman talk about the terrier that yanked on a leash doing everything possible to get away from Jimmy. He knew the feeling.

                Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder 
                Research for the Contemporary Romance

I've heard a lot of people say that contemporary romances are easier to write because they don't require research. We are living in the time in which the book takes place and as a society, we have common knowledge. Every book I've written in the O'Leary series has forced me to do some research. Admittedly, in the first three books, I didn't have to do a whole lot. Luckily, I've lived in Chicago, so I'm familiar with the city, so I didn't have to do a ton of research for the setting.


For me, research always has to do with the characters, specifically their jobs. Although Moira is a reporter, and we all know what reporters do, she writes about society events in Chicago. First I had to make sure that such a job still existed. (It does!) Then I spent a lot of time reading articles and blogs about the charity events that take place in the city. I also knew that Moira loves old black and white movies. I watched His Girl Friday, which is a perfect fit for Moira. It became her favorite movie in the book. Jimmy even watches it with her.


Since Jimmy is a cop, I didn't have to do a whole lot of research, especially since this isn't a police procedural. I did spend some time on the CPD web site looking at rank structure and stuff. I also read up on the last class of detectives and what departments they work in.


The final area of research I did for the book was on the subplot that Jimmy and Moira get mixed up in. It has to do with high-class escorts hired by wealthy Chicagoans.


This is where research can easily take a turn and swallow up time because it's interesting. In the book, I mention the Viagra Triangle, which is an actual term coined to describe the area of the city where older, wealthy men go to hire women. I also came across Rose Laws, who was a madam in Chicago for years. She just published her memoir last year as I was writing Catch Your Breath.


Although I didn't use every ounce of research I conducted for the novel, bits of it slipped in. Some of the events Moira attends are actual events that take place every year. I do mention Rosa Laws and the Viagra Triangle, but I don't dump in every piece of information because it would take away from the story of Jimmy and Moira falling in love.


I can't say that I love doing research, because I don't. I do it on the fly as things come up that I need answers for. That way, I don't get too sidetracked (usually). And then the research makes the story more real, more believable, more everyday.


I think that's part of my job as a contemporary romance author. To take what we all know and experience and make it part of the story so we can read and connect with the characters and the plot, even though we've never lived their lives.



Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she'd never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her "The Torture Master," a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, "If you're going to read so many damn books, why don't you just write one?"

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

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