I am a HUGE fan of Julia London’s work (both her contemporary and historical romances), so I was seriously stoked to get the chance to host her as she shared a little about her newest, One Mad Night.
About a year ago, I got the pleasure of reading half of this anthology, The Bridesmaid – my review can be found here. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do as soon as possible. Two-for-one y’all!
One of the popular tropes in short romantic fiction is the idea of enemies or rivals becoming lovers.
I love this trope. There’s nothing like a little healthy competition between a man and a woman to get thing stirred up, right? Especially if the two people competing are sexy and neither of them are above using their sexiness to win. With that kind of sexual tension, the desire to win becomes an all-consuming need. If the two people are going head to head to win an important account that could make or break their career, the stakes just got that much higher. So as a writer, what do I enjoy about this situation? Creating a blizzard that shuts down the city and locks just the two of them in the office overnight with nothing but a couple of Lean Cuisines and a bar to entertain them. I suppose they could go back to their cubicles and work on their presentations, but that wouldn’t be any fun. Better for them to make a drink and go wandering around the other cubicles, right?
This is exactly what happens to Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty in One Mad Night.
This kind of trope is perfect for a novella. It’s straightforward and the arc can be really explosive. The story opens with Chelsea and Ian flinging zingers at each other as they head toward the big showdown, then realize that they are stuck, and worse, going to have to work together to make it through the night, to the slow and dawning understanding that maybe, just maybe, there’s something more to their arch rival than an advertising campaign they privately know is great, but are each still clinging to the hope that it isn’t as great as their own. But is that enough?
And if you like blizzards, try The Bridesmaid. It’s a companion to this novella, packaged with it, and is about a couple caught travelling across the nation in the same blizzard. What if you had to share a travel space with someone who was just as determined to get the last seat on the train, plane, or car as you were? Blizzards are the best for romance.
I hope you enjoy the novella. Thank you for having me today.
By Julia London
January 6, 2015
Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night
Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.
One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.
One Mad Night
Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…
The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella
RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013
Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.
Praise for Julia London:
“London knows how to keep pages turning…winningly fresh and funny.” —Publishers Weekly, on RITA Award nominee The Bridesmaid
It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.
“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.
Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.
“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-off-with-you way.
“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”
Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”
Ian smiled and shrugged.
“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”
“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”
“Yes, I’ve had—Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”
“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”
“It wasn’t a let-me-help, best-friends-forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—”
“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”
“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”
“Because it’s none of your business.”
“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”
She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.
“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”
“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.
She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.
She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-help-each-other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”
She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”
“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.
He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”
“I don’t know—I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”
A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”
She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”
“Come on, tell me—” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.
“Uh-huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.
“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance. She lives in Austin, Texas.
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Three copies of One Mad Night
Special thanks to Julia for joining us today!