Monday, June 4, 2012


This giveaway is now closed!  Congratulations to Lucie Simone, the winner of Libby Mercer's novel, FASHIONING A ROMANCE!

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Romance/Chick Lit author, Libby Mercer!  Libby and I met when I was organizing the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop last month, and we hit it off right away!  She's a lot of fun, and I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know more about her and her recently released book FASHIONING A ROMANCE.

Libby has generously offered to give away one copy of her e-book.  So, be sure to leave a comment, including your e-mail address, below to be entered for a chance to win.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Check below the interview for a link to a FREE short story that Libby just uploaded to Smashwords! 

Take it away, Libby . . .

1) Can you give us a brief overview of FASHIONING A ROMANCE?

Sure thing.  FASHIONING A ROMANCE is a quirky hybrid of the romance and chick lit genres.  It’s structured like a romance, but the voice is very chick lit.  My heroine, Caitlyn, is a fashion designer who does everything within her power to ward off the advances of the hero, John.  She knows he’s bad news because he’s got quite a track record – total player – but she’s crazy attracted to him so she begins to warm and conflict ensues.

2) What's your favorite quality about your hero/heroine?

Probably my favorite thing about Caitlyn is her relatability.  She’s not super glam; she’s a hard worker.  I think readers will identify with her.  And I think my favorite thing about John are his wacky qualities.  In some ways he’s the archetypical romantic hero: tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, commanding.  But he’s also goofy and bizarre with some rather strange quirks.

3) What made you want to write this book?

I wanted to write a romance novel.  I got very involved in the romance writing community the last year or so that I was living in London and wanted to give it a go – as they say there.  I’ve been writing straight-up chick lit for eons and hadn’t been published up to that point and thought I’d try to break in with a romance.  The readership for romantic novels is so massive.  Sure enough, that was the book I broke through with.  Course I couldn’t just flip the switch completely –  FASHIONING A ROMANCE is very chick lit-y still.

4) What are you working on now?

I’ve got a few story ideas floating around in my head.  Not sure which one I’ll go with yet but when I decide on one, I’ll buckle down and devote myself to it.  Thinking about doing one with an ensemble cast next . . .

5) What comes first for you -- character idea, plot idea?

Plot idea, no question.  The characters tend to write themselves to fit with the plots.

6) How do you think of titles?

I hate coming up with titles.  I never feel satisfied with them and feel like there are some fabulous titles my books were destined to have, but I failed to figure out what they were.  Usually what I do is come up with a couple dozen options and pick the one that’s the least lame.

7) What are your thoughts on love scenes in books?  Do you prefer to read/write sweet/romantic encounters between your hero and heroine or spicy ones?

Well as far as reading goes, I enjoy both sweet and spicy romantic encounters.  It just depends on my mood.  But as far as writing them, I stick to the sweet side of the divide.  For the most part. I have a chick lit story that strays into spicy territory.

8) Who are the authors who inspire you?

Oh my goodness, so many.  Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and Bernadette Strachan have got to be my top three though.  They’re all such amazing authors and all three have written books that I couldn’t tear myself away from – meaning I’ve stayed up all night to find out what happens next.

9) What genres do you like to read?  Do you stick to one or are you eclectic in your reading tastes?

95% of what I read is chick lit and romance these days to be honest.  There’s just so much good stuff out there!

10) What was the last book you read that really WOWed you?

I was pretty WOWed by Sophie Kinsella’s latest, I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER.  It was one of the books that I stayed up all night to finish.  And although there’s absolutely nothing physical going on, the texting scene in the woods was honestly one of the most romantic scenes I’ve read in ages.

11) Do you prefer a series or stand alone novels?

I prefer stand alone novels, but sometimes when they’re so good, I wish they were series!

12) If you could be plopped down in the middle of any book, which one would it be?

I think maybe GONE WITH THE WIND.  I would love to interview Scarlett, as I find her to be one of the most fascinating heroines of all time.

13) If you could invite any five people (living or dead) over for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Well, I would have to make it a literary girly night. And I’d invite:

Margaret Mitchell – As I said, I’m a huge fan of  GONE WITH THE WIND and I’d jump at the chance to welcome the woman who penned it.

Sophie Kinsella – I love, love, love her books and maybe she’d give me some tips on how to become a bestselling sensation!

Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre is right up there with Scarlett O’Hara, as far as I’m concerned.  What an incredible book.

Heidi Rice – Aside from the fact that I love her sizzling romances, this Harlequin Mills & Boon author has been super generous with helpful advice, both in her workshops and online, so I’d love to cook her a fabulous meal!

Kate Chopin – THE AWAKENING is a brilliant and groundbreaking book, but in my opinion, it’s tragically underrated.  Also, Kate Chopin is from St. Louis – the city I grew up in – where she hosted a writer’s salon.  How cool would that be to hear the stories about my hometown in its literary heyday?

Fast and Flirty 

Favorite word?  Nonchalant
Dream vacation spot?  Non-touristy Caribbean island – if there is one! 
Favorite time period in history?  Roaring Twenties
Favorite girl's night out drink?  Pearl Harbor (pineapple juice, vodka, Midori)
Favorite date night activity?  Bit dull, but dinner and drinks
Coffee or tea or soda?  Soda, I’m afraid.  Diet Coke.
Strong but lean or built and burly?  Strong but lean
Scruffy or clean-shaven?  Clean-shaven (usually)
Dark-haired or blond?  Either one
Celebrity hottie on your laminated list?  Jake Gyllenhaal, especially in the BROKEBACK wardrobe!
Novel hero crush?  George Emerson from ROOM WITH A VIEW

Thanks for dropping by Books by Banister, Libby!  I wish you much success with FASHIONING A ROMANCE.

Leave a comment below telling me who your favorite fashion designer is and you'll be entered to win an e-book copy of FASHIONING A ROMANCE.  Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win!  Contest is open to US residents only!  Drawing will take place on Monday, June 11th, so get your comments in by midnight on Sunday, June 10th.


And don't forget to download Libby's FREE chick lit short, ESPRESSO MACCHIATO.  Available for all e-readers at:

Visit Libby Mercer at:


  1. My favorite designer is Donna Karan. I loved her sophisticated New York style, but I also love that she sold her business to dedicate herself to yoga and philanthropy.

    Lalucie at sbcglobal dot net

    1. I didn't know that about Donna Karan. How cool. Thanks for replying, Lucie!

  2. Great interview. I'm a huge fan of Gone With the Wind also. I don't really have any favorite designer, but I like Stella McCartney, Zac Posen, and Costello Tagliapietra designs.
    Much success with your book.

    1. Thanks, Janna! I'm not familiar with Costello Tagliapietra, so am off to Google... I love discovering new (to me) designers.

  3. I'm a big fan of Carolina Herrera. I love very simple, classic looks, which she does really well.

    1. Ooh, I totally agree about Carolina Herrera. Thanks for replying, Bridget!

  4. Great interview! This books sound really good. I'll have to add it to my TBR list!

    I don't have a favorite fashion designer...I mainly wear Eddie Bauer clothes...So I guess that is my favorite. ;)

  5. Thanks, Every Free Chance Reader! That's so sweet.

    And Eddie Bauer totally works. :-)