Guest Author & Giveaway: Shannyn Schroeder featuring More Than This

Wednesday, January 9

For the most part we are all creatures of habit.  I know I am.  We get in a rut, and that rut becomes normal, even comfortable.  It's easy to do that.  How often do you find yourself going to a restaurant and ordering the exact same thing?  Comfort zones.  You know what to expect, therein lies the appeal, but also the downside.  There are very few surprises (both good and bad) in habits.  

Usually it's when the unexpected happens, or when you challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, that you find something that brings joy to your life.  If you make a conscious effort of doing something daring or out of the ordinary it could be a complete disaster, or it could be a happy accident that leads to something verging on sublime.  Author Shannyn Schroeder is my guest today to share with us a bit about her heroine who dares to step outside of her quiet comfort zone to attempt to find her happy, in the new contemporary romance, More Than This.  Enjoy!


Thank you so much for hosting me today. The whole premise of my book, More Than This, is about stepping outside your comfort zone. My heroine, Quinn, is a practical and straight-laced high school English teacher. She wants to have a baby even though she has no prospects for a husband. In fact, she’s pretty much given up on men, but she desperately wants to be a mother. Her sister and friend don’t believe she can handle the chaos that comes with motherhood, especially when doing it alone. So they challenge her to spend her summer doing things outside her comfort zone.

The idea for Quinn’s summer list came to me based on an article I read that was something like “30 Things Women Should Do Before 30.”  That’s probably not the exact title, but you get the idea. I looked at various similar articles and then I turned to my best friend, who texted women she knows for ideas.

There are 8 things on Quinn’s list. Some are pretty tame, like indulging at an expensive restaurant. It’s not like Quinn would never go out to eat, but if she could go to a decent restaurant for $30, she wouldn’t see the need to go somewhere that would cost $100 (like I said, practical).

Quinn was an easy character for me to write because we’re pretty similar. When I created her list, I thought about the things I would and would not be willing to do. For instance, I would never go skydiving. I’m not afraid of heights, so it’s not the jumping that freaks me out; it’s the idea of landing. So I couldn’t make Quinn do that. There are quite a few things on her list that I personally haven’t done, but I might at least consider, even if I was scared (and no, I’m not confessing which I’ve done and which I haven’t).

I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to step out of my comfort zone and I definitely don’t seek out adventure, so writing about Quinn trying to accomplish that was a lot of fun. She’s mostly successful, but far from perfect.

What’s the one thing you think every woman should experience?

Below, find an exclusive excerpt from More Than This. It’s the scene where Quinn gets her list from her sister, Indy, and friend, Kate. In the opening, Ryan (the hero) has interrupted the planning session. The middle section of the scene is removed so we can get to the list, but you’ll see from reading that in the deleted section, Ryan and Quinn share their first kiss.

“Quinn said you’re planning her summer. Anything interesting?”

Quinn forced her voice to work. “I’m sure there’s plenty.”

Indy nodded and her mouth spread into a wide grin. “I asked every woman I could find to name something all women should experience. We’re deciding what Quinn should do.”

Ryan returned his attention to Quinn. “Why are they choosing for you?”

“Indy wants to choose for me because I’m too pedestrian.” She sneered at the last word. “Because I’m not reckless with everything I do in my life, Indy thinks I don’t know how to have fun or adventure.”

“Is she right?”

Heat flushed her cheeks. Of course he thinks I’m boring. Compared to Indy, I am. She frowned and her muscles twitched in anger. She’d had enough.

Being told she’s boring on top of having to witness their flirtation was too much. She grabbed her purse and nudged at Ryan. “Let me out.” When he didn’t move, she hissed, “Please.”

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~

Quinn reentered the bar and crashed into Kate.

“Hey. Are you okay? Ryan went out to find you, but we didn’t see him come back in.”

“I’m fine.” Quinn looped her arm through Kate’s and propelled them both toward the booth.

Once Kate sat, Quinn scanned the bar and found Ryan. He stood at the edge of the hall with a buxom blonde, whose girlish grin began as flirtatious and moved toward seductive as she licked her lips and ran her hand down Ryan’s arm. Last week a redhead, this week a blonde. She should’ve known.

Quinn sat quickly, silently berating herself for her moment of insanity. This was the reason she needed to avoid good-looking, charming men. How embarrassed she would’ve been had she asked Ryan out. She could still taste him on her lips and he was already moving on.

“Everything okay?” Indy asked tentatively.

The tension Quinn held eased. “Don’t worry about it. Let’s eat and you can show me the list of how you think I’m spending my summer.”

“Here.” Kate handed her a sheet from her notebook. “The list is totally doable and you can get part of it done before summer starts, giving you extra time to find your romance. Complete these eight, then you’ve done half the list Indy and company developed. A respectable percentage.”

Quinn stared at the scrawled list. “Did you intentionally choose things to freak me out?”

Indy laughed. “We picked the most fun things. You’ll notice there’s no public sex. Be glad Kate wouldn’t let me add skydiving.”

“How am I supposed to do this?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll help. It’ll be fun.” Kate patted her shoulder. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Quinn scanned down the list. Dread rose immediately, but her nerves were still humming and the excitement of a challenge won. If she’d created the list herself, she wouldn’t have challenged herself this much. Indy knew how to push her, that was for sure.

1. Play hooky.
2. Sing karaoke in a crowded bar.
3. Ride a motorcycle.
4. Indulge at an expensive restaurant.
5. Take a vacation alone.
6. Pose nude for a photographer or artist.
7. Have a fabulous summer romance.
8. Have a night of multiorgasmic, mind-blowing sex.

When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…

Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.

Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.

Read an excerpt, and for your reading enjoyment here's an additional special excerpt:

She tugged her hand away and crossed her arms. Her eyes darted, as if keeping contact was a battle. Her voice lowered a fraction. “You don’t know how hard it is to find a normal date.”

“What makes you think that?” He pushed his palm against the wall next to her head and caught the soft, powdery scent of her perfume. Did it make him an ass that while she talked about dating other men, his thoughts focused on kissing her again?

She shifted and tucked her hair behind her ear. When she looked up again, her face had returned to the usual polite, impassive front. “Come on. I’m in here often enough to see you with all kinds of women. I’m not judging you, but you can’t compare picking the flavor of the week to dating.”

He didn’t address her comments. She was right—he liked women who required nothing from him but a good time. It wasn’t a concept she’d understand. She’d definitely require more. He hadn’t attempted anything more serious since Cassie. “So what’s your plan? Cast a wide net and see what you catch?”

She shrugged. “Indy said it’s all about numbers. I spent a bunch of money to join the stupid dating site. They guarantee I’ll meet someone special. It’s in my best interest to keep trying. Besides, I try to weed out the worst of the bunch.”

His burst of laughter made her jump, so he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetheart, if you think you’re weeding out the bad ones, your radar is broken.”

Her lips pulled back, but it wasn’t quite a smile. “I was born without radar.”

Thanks Shannyn for being my guest today and congrats on the release of More Than This! I love romances that feature the girl next door finding true love with the hunky hero.  I'm rooting for Quinn to find her HEA, let it all hang loose on the day she plays hooky, and I can't wait to read the scene where she sings in a karoeke bar, not to mention the other sexy tasks she sets for herself, LOL.

If you'd like learn more about Shannyn and the books she writes you can find her at her website, Twitter, Pinterest & Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of More Than This Shannyn will be giving away a 15" x 12" Pampered Chef flat baking stone (similar to the one her heroine uses) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US only).  And she'll also be awarding a Keeper Kase (to keep your autographed book cover flats in) with an autographed cover flat from "More Than This" to one commenter at every stop (US only).  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Leave a question or comment for Shannyn about this book, or any other burning need to know question you might have (good for 1 entry)
How to enter:
  • Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour to earn additional entries for the grand prize 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) will be selected randomly from among all of the comments of the blog tour by either the author or by Goddess Fish Promotions who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).  Please contact the promoter for all the official rules and disclaimers.
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


Goddess Fish Promotions January 9, 2013 at 6:12 AM  

Thank you for hosting today

Shannyn Schroeder January 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM  

Hi - Thanks for hosting me today. I'll pop in throughout the day if anyone has questions.

Amy S. January 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM  

The excerpts were great!

Joanne January 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM  

Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read more of Quinn and Ryan. I like Kate's list for Quinn.Is this book a stand alon or part of a series?


Shannyn Schroeder January 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM  

Hi Amy - Thanks

Hi Joanne - The book is a stand alone, but will be part of the O'Leary family series. Each book will feature a different family member, but can be read by itself.


books4me January 9, 2013 at 4:53 PM  

Sounds like a fantastic read! I seethat this is part of the O'Leary family series, but as this is new to me, I want to know how many books are planned?

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Shannyn Schroeder January 9, 2013 at 9:25 PM  

Hi books4me - I hope to have a total of 6 books -- 5 unmarried O'Learys, including Ryan, and 1 book (due out this summer) with Griffin, Ryan's best friend, who is like an honorary O'Leary. Although some characters repeat, the books are stand-alone in that there is no continuing plot elements.


June M. January 9, 2013 at 11:08 PM  

So glad to hear that this is going to be a series (love them). I could have really used friends like this when I was younger to get me out of my shell (I have always been very shy).
Thanks so much for the excerpts and giveaway :)
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

bn100,  January 9, 2013 at 11:42 PM  

Nice list.


Christine January 10, 2013 at 8:42 PM  

I love Quinn's list! I'm looking forward to reading this book. I think I'm going to be adding another author to my favorites list as well!

Christine S
cms72023 at gmail dot com

VampedChik January 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM  

Sounds like an awesome read! Adding it to my wishlist! Thanks!

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