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September 11, 2012

Under the Microscope: Christi Barth & Planning For Love

Hi, Christi and welcome to the PP where we stick our authors under the microscope and find out the nitty gritty!

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.  Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance, Christi?  I love that you assume I’m such a bestseller that I don’t have a day job! Sadly, I do still show up to work every day to earn my 4 weeks of vacation. But I write at night and force myself to hit my weekly word goal.

What are your three favorite books of all time?

 Don’t make me choose. That’s like asking me to choose between oxygen and water.

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? Night person!  I’m not one of those people that can’t execute a full sentence without caffeine or anything, but I don’t enjoy mornings at all.  Except for when I get to wake up and read in bed for about two hours.  To me, even sunsets are far more beautiful and dramatic than sunrises.  And the food – appetizers, dinner, cocktails – wayyyy better than boring breakfast.

Music--with or without? What kind? Without. Cone of silence. I’ve got a musical background, so I’ll pay attention to whatever is playing instead of my characters.

First or third POV? Always 3rd.  I’m in awe of people who do 1st – and I love to read it!

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? I didn’t used to, but publishing has changed. One book a year doesn’t cut it anymore. In the past two weeks, I was simultaneously writing a 97,000 word single title, a 45,000 word novella, and a synopsis for another novella.

What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end? ¼ of the way in. The beginning rolls out easily, the middle is juicy, and I love the race to the end. But right after finishing all the setup, it gets sticky.

Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? Love them!  My editor gives these amazing tweaks that make the story pop.

How did you come up with that title?  Usually I’d say blood, sweat & tears. But this one wrote itself, as it is about a wedding planner who actually plans for love. I’d have to be half dead not to use something that obvious!

Best advice anybody every gave you? Treat writing like a profession, even if unpublished.  That dedication will get you published.

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter…

What's your favorite dessert? Whatever is on my plate, covered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Do you write at home or someplace else? At home.  And not in my very pretty office, but on the couch so I can cheat and watch television when I want to procrastinate.

Back cover blurb:

Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes
anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for
their disaster of a courtship

Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she gets an offer to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.

Bennett Westcott can admit that he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and, okay, great body—through the lens of a camera every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have a little no-strings fun.

The more time Bennett and Ivy spend together, the more he realizes that Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance? 


A bitter shudder roiled across his taste buds. “Sure. Once you top it off with a hefty splash of gin. Big wedge of lime. Stick a beach chair under my ass and color me happy.”

“Nope, no drinking on the job.” Ivy pointed across the room at the bar. “Go on, give the straight stuff a try tonight. Satisfaction guaranteed.”

“Really? What sort of satisfaction will you deliver if I don’t like it?” Damn it. From the moment Ben had taken this gig, he swore up and down not to flirt with Ivy. Not to let her get under his skin with her star-bright smile and whip-smart wit. Now here he was, day one, tossing a sexually loaded grenade into the conversation. Into the relationship minefield that was Ivy Rhodes. Idiot.

Two front teeth that would make an orthodontist weep with joy toyed with her bottom lip. Second time he’d seen her do it tonight, and again, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the sight. It should be his teeth nipping at her. God, why did someone so sexually perfect for him come with an entire wagon train of relationship expectations? Might as well give a jewel thief the keys to the Tower of London, drive him to it, park, and then wait to see what happened.

“Whatever it takes to put a smile on your face,” she promised with a saucy wink.

“I can think of seven things without even trying. You’ve even got clothes on in five of them.”

Find Christi at:


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Good morning, Christi! Thanks for visiting the PP today.

I read your excerpt and grenade caught my eye. Wow! Great word.

Liese said...

Great excerpt! A wonderful premise and title.


Patricia said...

Great interview. I feel like I know you. And I loved the excerpt.

Sylvia said...

Love the excerpt. Love wedding stories. I'm going to have to check it out. What's your next book?

Christi Barth said...

Hi Sylvia - I have 2 next books :) In December, I have a novella in the anthology Romancing the Holiday along with Jaci Burton and Helen Kay Dimon (this one is also Chicago based). Then book 2 of the Aisle Bound series, A Fine Romance comes out in March. That one is all about chocolate, so stock up before you read it!

Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome, Christi. the book sounds delicious, and I love that you can work on three things at a time. Oh, if only I could.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Welcome to the PP Christi! It was fun getting to know you. I loved the excerpt! Looks like a fun read!

Christi Barth said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone - it was fun sharing with you!