Learning the Ropes
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing September 30th
Rule #1 – Don’t lose focus…
Barrel racer Alicia Kanani has had a long road to the top – and she’s not quite there yet. Finances have always been tight, and in the glitz and glam world of professional rodeo, that means that second best is probably the best she can hope for. With the National Finals coming up, she’s certainly not looking for a pair of cowboys to distract her.
Rule #2 – Don’t gamble what you can’t live without…
Playboy Chris Thomas is sure Alicia’s the perfect woman for his level-headed team roping partner, David Greenly. It seems like a match, until Chris realizes he wants Alicia for himself. The stakes have been raised; David and Chris are supposed to be a team, and this time, they’re on opposite sides.
Can Alicia rope this playboy’s heart, or will they find themselves too tangled up to let true love in?
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
It is my pleasure to welcome T.J. Kline, author of Learning the Ropes, to Room With Books!
What do you do when you are not writing?
If you don’t see me sitting at my computer, right now (Fall 2014) you should look for me at a football game or practice cheering on my boys, helping my daughter get settled into her first year as a college student or training my new filly.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Absolutely! E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. It was in my hand at all times and I must have gone through at least six copies of the paperback. I used to think I loved the story because it was about animals but as I grew older, I realized it was a love story in its own right. It’s a classic that speaks of unconditional love, even when it isn’t deserved and the power of hope. It also taught me that not every story has a happy ending you expect.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The main challenge I had getting my first book published was getting an acceptance. I tried for years (albeit half-heartedly). It wasn’t until I finally gave writing my entire focus that I was able to find myself in the right place at the right time. I think the lesson for me was to be persistent more than anything else.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Mind-control. Just think, I’d be a best-seller every single release day! Now that I think about it, I’d be rich too. You will buy my books and love them.
What was your first job?
I began babysitting for my mother’s friends when I was twelve years old. When I was fourteen, we moved out to the country and there weren’t many kids so I got a job working part time at a pizza place. I’ve worked a few small, local fast food restaurants but my favorite jobs were training race horse weanlings for sales and an exercise rider, both when I was sixteen.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
Why would you ask that? That’s like trying to pick out which of my children is my favorite! Honestly, there is something that I love about each one of them. Sydney (Rodeo Queen) is kind yet feisty. Angela (The Cowboy & the Angel) tries hard to hide her vulnerabilities and Alicia (Learning the Ropes), she’s just as determined as she is tenderhearted. Now, my heroes…why would I write one who wasn’t swoon-worthy? Scott, Derek, Chris and David all bring a different personality to the table but each is hero material in his own right.
What does your writing schedule look like?
Right now, I’m working on a new series (still hunky cowboys and the ladies who take them on) with pretty tight deadlines – three coming out by the end of next summer. Plus, there is one more Rodeo book coming in Feb. 2014. After that, we’re already talking about trying to get one more book out before the end of 2015. It keeps me busy writing daily. I usually get my kids off to school and spend my mornings and early afternoons writing. Evenings are just too busy. Plus, a couple of days during the week, I take a few hours to go work with my horses.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
To some degree, I have lived what I write about. I was very involved in rodeos for a long time so a lot of the details come from my personal experiences. In fact, there is one scene we added in Rodeo Queen that actually happened to me personally while I was a queen. Much of the horse information comes from my own training experiences and knowledge rather than researching and trying to recreate.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
I almost never title my own books. Three of my books were collaborations with my editor (who is amazing!) and Learning the Ropes was actually my daughter’s idea. I don’t like writing a synopsis and a title is even worse. How do you boil an entire novel down to a few meaningful words that will convey everything your book stands for?
If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?
Animal trainer, without a doubt. I have always loved animals and training them, even when I was a little girl, my mother would find me trying to teach our family dogs tricks. Animals respond differently than people. You can’t pretend to be anyone else when you’re with them. They sense any pretense intuitively.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on a family series. The first is the middle sister, a horse trainer, who is in financial trouble. A friend of her brother, a financial wizard, comes to her rescue and sparks fly. What’s a guy to do when the damsel in distress doesn’t want to be saved?
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mudslide
Night owl, or early bird? Both (I usually only get about 5-6 hrs sleep)
Coffee or tea? Coffee with whipped cream, although I will drink iced tea
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Water rides
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? I enjoy both but generally a pool since I can see anything swim under me there.
Walking or fitness club? Workouts at home. I have been an online fitness coach for over eight years and used to be a group fitness instructor
Any last words?
Two things! I love to hear from my readers either on Facebook, Twitter, or email. It makes my day every time. Second, don’t forget to review the books you read, even if it’s just a few words. I never knew how important it was to writers until I became one. Now, I always at least rate books I read, especially the ones I love.
Thanks you T.J. for stopping by to chat and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
T.J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has written several articles about rodeo for small periodicals, as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter, and has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah. In her spare time, she can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.
- Digital Set of RODEO QUEEN and THE COWBOY AND THE ANGEL;
- and Second Winner for Print Copy of THE COWBOY AND THE ANGEL