Grief has brought them together again—will love open the door to their future? When it’s an O’Leary in the picture, finding out is just part of the adventure…
Carmen Delgado is left reeling when her father dies. Taking care of him has been her sole purpose for so long, she’s forgotten what it’s like to have dreams of her own. And with steady, sexy Liam O’Leary inheriting a share in her dad’s successful food truck, Carmen is suddenly free to explore her life’s possibilities. She never expected Liam to provide the kind of temptation she’s not sure she can resist…
A talented chef, Liam O’Leary has been itching to open his own restaurant for years—and the death of his mentor is a reminder that time passes too quickly. Gus’s Taco Taxi isn’t exactly what he dreamed of, but he can’t desert Gus’s daughter. Working side by side is an unexpected pleasure—and grownup Carmen is alluring in all new ways. Is love on the menu—or will old fears and insecurities drive them apart?
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The O’Leary Series by Shannyn Schroeder is one of my favorite series. I seriously LOVE talking to Shannyn every chance I get. Today, I get to bring you one of our little conversations. Enjoy.
Hi, Shannyn. Thank you for joining me today.
Thank you so much for having me back!
Anytime. Seriously, I love talking to you. Let’s get down to business. Please tell me about Carmen Delgado and Liam O'Leary. What are they like, what are their weakness and strengths?
Liam is the youngest O’Leary brother. He’s a chef and has been thinking about opening his own restaurant for a while, but has yet to make a move. His caution is both a strength and weakness. He’s careful about what he does, but sometimes he can think things to death. Like all the O’Learys, Liam is loyal and family-oriented.
Carmen is a little lost. Her father has just died, and after spending years caring for her parents, she has no idea what she wants out of life. Carmen is also loyal and dedicated to her family. Her biggest weakness is her low self-esteem. She’s unsure of herself all the time.
I totally agree with your assessment of them. Liam is so good for Carmen. As a reader, I'm always curious how an author comes up with their character names. How did you choose the names Carmen and Liam?
I named all of the O’Learys long before I even considered writing a series where each sibling would get a book. When I named them, I simply combed through a name book for Irish names I liked.
As I created the character for Carmen, all I knew about her was that she was Mexican-American. I looked through a name book like I usually do, but had no luck. Then I watched George Lopez reruns with my kids. The daughter in that show is named Carmen. I knew instantly that would be the perfect name for my character (not that she’s modeled after the TV show, though).
Carmen is definitely NOT modeled after the character on George’s show. What's your favorite part of a book to read or write? (the beginning, the heartfelt declaration of love or the ending)
I love to write the beginning of a book because it holds so much promise. The first few thousand words are painful to get out, but once I get started, it’s fun to discover who my characters are and what they’ll do.
As a reader I love to read a good grovel scene. The bigger, the badder the guy, the better the grovel usually is. (smiles)
When you started writing Just a Taste, did you have an idea of how the story was going to turn out or were you surprised by where your characters took you?
I’m always a little surprised by my characters. Although I try to get to know them before I start writing, I don’t really plot out my books. I have a very general idea about plot, but that’s it. I try to figure out what will cause trouble for my characters. For example, Liam is a chef who wants his own restaurant, so I gave him a food truck. A food truck is not what he wants, but his loyalty to his friend drives him to work there.
Your O'Leary series started out being about an Irish American family in Chicago. So I'm going to assume you, for the most part, already had an idea of what each of the O'Learys were like, personality wise. When it came time to find the perfect mate for them, what were you looking for? I guess the easier question is what makes Carmen right for Liam?
Ha-Ha! That makes it sound like I started this with a master plan, which I totally didn’t. When I wrote the first book (More Than This), I knew Ryan O’Leary came from a large family and it wouldn’t be enough to just give them all names. I needed to know more about them, but for the most part, I learned about each of them a little more every time they appeared in a book.
Finding the perfect mate for each O’Leary is tough. It’s a case-by-case issue definitely, but many of them are an opposites attract kind of thing. However, I knew Carmen would be right for Liam because they’re similar. Liam wouldn’t be attracted to his opposite. Carmen has spent a long time taking care of other people, and Liam is a nurturer. He likes to take care of her. Also, they both have the same values (family) and a love of food (although Carmen does her best to deny it).
What's next for you?
I have just turned in the final O’Leary book – Hold Me Close, which is Maggie’s story. **sniff** It will release in July of this year. I am currently starting a new set of novellas and a new series, but I’m not ready to discuss specifics yet. I’ll have more details soon.
Thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for me. I have to say, I love the O'Learys. I'm looking forward to Maggie's book, but I'm going to be sad not to be able to visit the O'Learys again.
Thank you again for having me. You always ask such great questions. I’ve had a blast writing the O’Learys. I’m not gonna lie, turning in Maggie’s book was difficult. It’s hard to imagine not returning to this family. However, there are new things on the horizon that I am very excited about.
Okay. So, I’ll be stalking your website and Twitter, to find out your news. And thank you so much for being one of those authors who actually listens to and talks to your readers when they have a concern about a book. I should also warn you.... I definitely plan on interviewing you for Hold Me Close and I think I already have some questions in mind. (Big Kim Smile)
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Places to find Shannyn Schroeder:
The O’Learys Series:
Review ~ More Than This (Book 1)
Review ~ Something to Prove (Book 3)
Review ~ Catch Your Breath (Book 4)
Review ~ Just a Taste (Book 5)
Shannyn is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card, DVD of the Movie CHEF and Three Keeper Kases with O'Leary's Cards.
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