Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Tour: Kiss Me Goodnight by Michele Zurlo Interview & Giveaway

I’m Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren’t them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I’m stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That’s how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him…

Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don’t come in sets of six, but she’s smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay—most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.

Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he’s everything a man should be. So why can’t she convince her heart to fall in love?

  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?

For Kiss Me Goodnight, I came up with the character of Lacey first. Ready for a challenge, I tried to give her traits that most people would find off-putting. Then I asked myself how I could make people like a heroine who lied and who had a history of dating married men. I had to create one heck of a backstory to explain all of that—I loved meeting that challenge, and then I had to make her strong. I have a strong preference for smart, courageous heroines—I think most people do—and she ended up needing those qualities in order to turn her life around.

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

The title of the book came to me in a dream. Okay, not a dream, but definitely on a nightshirt. I thought it would be a good name for a band, and so Kiss Me Goodnight was born. At first I wasn’t sure if Lacey was going to be in a band or if I wanted her to fall for someone in a band. Either way, the name stuck with me. It also fits with Lacey’s internal and external conflicts. Rejected titles include Lies, Tell Me Lies, and Trouble With My Halo.

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

This is my first New Adult novel as Michele Zurlo, though I did write one under a different name. When I started this book, I had just finished revisions on Wanting Wilder, Mina’s Heart, and Re/Paired—all  erotic romances, and I wanted to write something different. I like the focus on character growth and the richness of story in mainstream romance, and I was also wanting a change from the BDSM focus of so many of my novels.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

I bought a new house. That might not sound like much, but I went from 800 square feet to something larger with a beach in my backyard. I am a homebody, and my primary focus is home and family, so that was huge for me.

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

Because I am an English teacher, I tend to read YA novels—whatever my students are reading. I’m in the middle of The Shriver Report right now, which is very interesting from a national policy standpoint and because it forces us to look at prejudices and stereotypes. In the fiction realm, I’ve recently read some Mari Carr and Gordon Korman’s Schooled. I’m also working on the 5th Vampire Academy book.

  1. What is your writing process?

I binge write from May-August, and then I spend the winter months teaching, editing, and revising. (However I started KMG in December during Winter Break.) Typically, I start with a character and build a story from there. Sometimes I start with a conflict, but not very often. While writing, I like to have music or the TV on. It helps me concentrate. I have a notebook where I outline chapters, write character descriptions, and whatever else comes to mind.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I’ve never done a book signing. I’ve signed books for people I know. Last year, I signed a book for my chiropractor’s mother-in-law (Mother’s Day gift,) and I wrote a note in it. I suck at dedications and things like this. When my students want me to sign their yearbooks, it takes me forever to come up with something to say. When I wrote the dedication to KMG, it took two days. Fictional heartfelt things are easy; real feelings are difficult to express. Usually I think of something good a few days after a deadline.

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I dislike coffee. Even the smell of it grosses me out. I once refused to kiss a date because coffee breath was involved.

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I don’t. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I can respect that whether or not I agree with it. I do appreciate quality feedback, so if a negative review contains good points, I take those into account in future writings.

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

With the first royalty check I got, I took my family out to dinner. It wasn’t very large, but the next year, we took the kids to Busch Gardens in Florida. Kiss Me Goodnight is my 23rd published novel, and I celebrated by taking my daughter to swim practice.

After the show, I introduced my best friends Jane and Luma to Dylan’s band. Thank goodness neither of them looked at the men like they were a buffet.

Gavin looked at Dylan and clapped Levi on the back. “We should clear out.”

“No, you shouldn’t.” Heads swung and everybody looked at me. It was a little disorienting. I won’t be going on a stage anytime soon. I swallowed. “I mean, this was your first performance. There have to be a hundred women and more than a few men hanging out in there who enjoyed your show and wouldn’t mind meeting you. Mingling will help build your fan base.”

I needed to shut up before somebody asked me if I was a publicist. Knowing me, I would probably answer in the affirmative. I have a major in finance with a minor in business administration. Nothing there speaks to this situation.

“Sorry. Just throwing out ideas.”

Jane and Luma chuckled nervously. Jane moved closer, probably ready to drag me away if I kept going.

Levi nodded thoughtfully. “Good ideas, though. They make sense. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re heading back inside.”

Daisy linked her arms through Jane and Luma’s, and the three of them went first. Levi and Gavin followed.

Dylan held the door for me, which led to a hallway behind the stage. He grabbed my hand, holding me back when I would have followed everyone else through the door into the main room.

I cocked my head and gazed up at him.

“You liked the show?”

“Very much. I’d even see it again.” I still think they need some backing vocals. “I especially liked the last song. That’s where you took the name for your band?”

He nodded. “I wrote the song a few years ago.” His eyes clouded over the tiniest bit, a combination of nostalgia and melancholy.

I was about to ask him if he was okay when he tilted his head down. The right moment had finally come. He was going to kiss me. My lips tingled with anticipation. My senses came alive, attuned to every molecule of this moment.

He pulled me against him, holding me so I could feel the hard length of his thighs (yes, thighs, you perv) against mine. But that wasn’t enough. Taking one step forward, he moved my back against the wall. Throwing caution to the wind, I gave in to my urge to run my hands over his chest. I broke my gaze from his, putting off a moment I knew would blow away every kiss I’ve ever had.

You don’t think I’ve set my hopes too high, do you?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at or @MZurloAuthor.

Michele will be awarding an autographed paperback of Kiss Me Goodnight and choice of T-shirt or travel mug to one randomly drawn Rafflecopter winner (US only).
 The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting! I'll be checking in later today, as I will be at work today.

  2. I enjoyed the interview and learning more about you. My son also hates the smell of coffee on people's breath. lol


  3. I'm sure that I kissed someone before 6th grade but the first kiss I remember was in 6th grade, after school with a blond, blue eyed boy who I thought was very cute! It was kinda sloppy because we were both nervous but at the time I thought it was great - of course now I know for the spotlight and interview - I think Michelle might very well be the first person I've heard/read about refusing to kiss someone over coffee refusal is the cigarette smoke -ugh). Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Enjoyed reading your interview and the excerpt.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  5. Hi Rita, Maria, and Karen!
    I know, I know. My spouse drinks coffee once in a while. Those would the the days I am not home. And I'm with you on cigarette smoke, Maria.