Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Roxanne St Claire to the blog. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know that I have serious Roxanne fan girl issues. She sent me her entire Bullet Catcher’s series in 2009 while I was in Iraq and what can I say, I was hooked. And Rocki’s advice to me over the last couple years has been absolutely essential in helping me grow as a writer and her support has been unwavering through some especially trying times.

So its with great pleasure that Roxanne has come on the blog today to answer some questions for us and to celebrate release day of the second book in her Guardian Angelinos series Shiver of Fear

For those readers who may be new, tell us a little bit about your Guardian Angelinos series.

The Guardian Angelinos are a blended, extended Italian family dedicated to crime-fighting, investigation, security, and really great food. Like any Italian family, these cousins and siblings (and aunts & uncles) are passionate, opinionated, sensual, devoted, and extremely entertaining. Each book in the series (three so far) stands entirely alone, but there are recurring characters and minor overlaps in plots and backstories. Like all of my romantic suspense novels, the stories are full of romance, adventure, emotion, and the occasional really scary bad guy. Oh, and plenty of the sexy stuff!

Where does Shiver of Fear pick up after Edge of Sight?

Almost immediately, although it is not a continuation. The assignment that the FBI gives the Angelinos is a spinoff from the case they worked on in EDGE. The job is to find the victim’s widow, who has taken off for Northern Ireland, and bring her back. When Marc Rossi heads off to Belfast, he expects to find an icy socialite widow who will comply with his wishes. She is not icy. And, oh my, she is not compliant. Together, they get deeper into trouble with terrorists, falling first in lust and then in love along the way.

What are some things that make this series different for you as a writer?

I guess this series is more emotional than the Bullet Catchers, my eight-book (and two novella) series written between 2005 – 2010. The fast pace is the same, the exotic settings and high-profile crimes are similar, and, of course, the sexy alpha heroes remain. But at the heart of the series is a big, messy, irresistible family, and I think that gives the books a different kind of depth.

You’ve mentioned on Murder She Writes that you frame and keep ever cover flat for all your novels. What is the best part about releasing a book for you? Is it getting the cover flat in the mail or holding the completed novel or signing at events?

I have to be honest – the best part of a book is being done with it, so long before the novel is released, I’m happy. Once I hit that point (usually after copyedits) where I’m satisfied with the arc, the characters, and the final outcome, I really love “having written” a book. There’s nothing fun about release week (except wonderful reviews), but I will admit that it is a one-of-a-kind thrill to walk into a bookstore or supermarket and see my book on the shelf.

RWA 11 is coming up soon (for those that don’t know, its the Romance Writers of America national conference, this year in New York City). What’s the best part about RWA Nationals? What’s the most challenging part for you?

Best part: the bar. That’s where it’s happening at RWA. I love seeing friends, making new ones, and informally connecting with my sister writers. We have so much in common, and spend so many months of the year alone with our imaginary friends that it is just heaven to sit and sip and chat with other writers. Most challenging is always the schedule. There is simply too much to do and not enough time to do it. I always leave Nationals frustrated that I didn’t spend more “quality” time with more people. Everyone is so rushed. (That’s why the bar at 1:00 AM is the best place to be!)

So what comes next in the Guardian Angelinos series? You’ve got back to back releases coming up. What’s unique about back to back releases as opposed to releases that are more spaced out?

I do have back-to-backs, and I’m so happy about that. SHIVER OF FEAR is out today, followed in four weeks (!!!) by FACE OF DANGER. That is Vivi Angelino’s book and, I’m going to break all the rules and admit that it is my favorite. Vivi was alive to me from the first book, a very different heroine for me, and one who had surprising depth when I dug into her psyche. She made me laugh and cry from beginning to end, and I really hope readers respond well to her. And Colton Lang, her hero, just melts me.

What’s next for Roxanne St Claire?

I just finished my first young adult novel, which will be coming out in the summer of 2012 in hardcover from Delacorte Press. I love this story – so different from anything I’ve ever written – and to add some icing on the YA cake, the book has been optioned for film. I know a lot of miracles have to happen before I walk the red carpet (LOL!) but just having someone like Garry Marshall (my favorite director in the world) read and love the work has definitely been a highlight of my career. Stay tuned for news!

And finally, what’s your favorite question fans ask you most often?

My favorite question would be: Tell me about your kids!!!

Seriously, we moms all know where our hearts really are! I have two – Dante, who is turning 18 in a few weeks (and going to college!!!) and Mia, who is thirteen and *all* that implies. (Drama, drama, drama.) I learn something new from my kids every day. I certainly would never have had the idea for the YA book *or* the skills to write it if I didn’t spend every day around the creatures known as teenagers.

Thanks so much, Rocki, for coming on the blog today and sharing your release day fun with us. Folks, leave a comment and Roxanne will give away a copy of BOTH Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger!