A Life in Books: Tiffany Reisz

Posted by Goodreads on December 6, 2016
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Let's be honest: Our holidays could use more heat. Thankfully Tiffany Reisz is here for us. The Original Sinners author delivers her own brand of festive cheer this season, specifically for those on the naughty list.

Her new book is One Hot December, a devilishly sexy romance with a hearty side of Christmas and Hanukkah merrymaking. This is Ian and Flash's story. He's a wealthy businessman with a wicked streak, and she's a wild woman with a blowtorch.

Reisz shares the book that made her want to become a writer, the lesson she's learned from the novel she's currently reading ("Do not try goshawk training at home. Or anywhere."), and the historical romance she revisits every Christmas.


What was the first romance book you read that made you think, "Hey! I want to do this for a living"?

A Wrinkle in Time
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Fifth grade. Required reading. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I found it terribly romantic as a lonely and nerdy ten-year-old girl. There's a scene in the book when awkward and angry 12-year-old Meg is in her family's garden with 14-year-old Calvin. He's popular and she's a misfit, but while they're talking, Calvin takes off her glasses and tells Meg she has "dreamboat eyes." I recall being so happy for Meg, just off the charts thrilled that finally someone appreciated her. The best part was that Calvin loved how smart she was and let her help him with his math homework even though she's two years younger.

It hit all the right buttons for me and still does. That's the book that made me start telling adults that when I grew up I wanted to be a writer. All my heroines have a bit of Meg in them—exiles and outcasts, sometimes by choice, sometimes not. And their true loves are the people who appreciate their quirks the most. That and their dreamboat eyes.



Our holidays are heating up with One Hot December! What's one of your favorite books set during Christmastime?
A Christmas Promise
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I love holiday books so much, I managed to fit two December holidays into One Hot December—Hanukkah and Christmas. Two for the price of one!

A few years ago I went to a one-week silent retreat at a Jesuit Spiritual Center during the Advent season. When we were told—very quietly—that we needed to prepare for a coming snowstorm, I ran to the nearest bookstore to stock up before I was trapped in a dorm without any fresh reads. I picked up a copy of A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh, an author I'd never before read but had heard good things about. I devoured the book in one evening. While the cover looks rather sweet, it's actually a fairly gritty story. A couple—forced against their will into a marriage of convenience—truly dislike each other and have been led to believe the worst about each other's motives. It takes a great deal of time (and some very rough sex scenes) until they start to warm up to each other. But when they do, it's glorious and such a joy. I now reread the book every Christmastime and recommend it to anyone who'll listen. Are you listening? Read it!



What's an underrated romance book you think your fans would love?
The Magpie Lord
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I used to run an online fantasy book club meeting, and our most popular read by far was a hilarious gay romance called The Magpie Lord by author K.J. Charles. Real laugh-out-loud humor is hard to find in novels, so I always appreciate it when an author can make me snort-laugh more than once, and K.J. Charles can do it with ease. I'd love to see more romance readers giving LGBTQ romance a chance.

Also, Agnes Moor's Wild Knight is a fabulous historical romance novella by the hugely talented Alyssa Cole. Also, the ebook is a mere 99 cents. That's a steal!



One Hot December warns us to "never mess with a woman who carries a blowtorch in her backpack." What other romance featuring a badass heroine would you recommend?
The Blue Castle
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Thanks for calling Flash, the lady with the "blowtorch in her backpack," a badass. I agree! Ian, the straitlaced businessman in love with her, would certainly agree, too. Although she doesn't start out much of a badass, she certainly ends as one. My favorite badass heroine I've read in a long time is Valancy Stirling from The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The book came out in 1926, but it spoke to me more than any other novel I've read in years. Valancy is 29 years old, single, living with her mother, and a failure at life on all accounts in her family's eyes. When she receives shocking news from her doctor, she finally works up the courage to defy her judgmental family and start living the life she was meant to live, including marrying the town bad boy, who turns out to be living a secret life of his own. I never stay up past midnight these days, but this book kept me turning pages until 4 a.m. I couldn't sleep until I read the very last page. Valancy's courage moved me to tears, and I wept with happiness when she finally told off her family and came into her own as a woman.



What are you currently reading?
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Speaking of badass women, I'm reading H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, a memoir from a woman who dealt with her grief over the death of her beloved father by training a goshawk. The psychological detail of her descent into near madness while living in solitude and training this most difficult of raptors is nearly as fascinating as the hawk training itself. Grief is a wild, dangerous, unpredictable emotion, and the goshawk, notoriously dangerous and unpredictable, becomes the perfect metaphor for taming the wild grief Helen is suffering. Just a warning to readers who might pick this book up: Do not try goshawk training at home. Or anywhere. Ever.



Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Epiphani (new)

Epiphani I am so happy to read an interview with an author I like.


message 2: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Thank you, Tiffany, for the interview and the wonderful recommendations. I purchased "A Christmas Promise" based on your 'say-so' and plan on reading it next. This was the second time I read where you had recommended it. I love reads by Mary Balogh and feel sure this will be another favorite of mine. And, of course, "One Hot December" is on my wishlist as well because...well...Tiffany Reisz's hot stories are needed to warm us when the weather is cold (and even when it's not).


message 3: by Iris (new)

Iris Hunter Always such a treat to get inside the mind of Tiffany Reisz! I'll take it any chance I can get. All her recommended books, along with her holiday treats, have been placed on my to read list. I just have to finish doing my second read through of the Original Sinners series first! I find myself being able to take it slower this time. The first time around, I couldn't put the books down and was staying up way past midnight for over a week to get through them all. Now I can read them at a more sane pace, and truly relish in the genius of Tiffany Reisz. Thank you Tiffany, for bringing me so many hours of reading bliss! :)


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