Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Penny Reid's KNITTING IN THE CITY Series Books One and Two

Neanderthal Seeks Human (#1) - Released on March 14, 2013
Friends Without Benefits - Released on October 1, 2013

The Knitting In The City series is expected to contain several books, plus potentially a much requested sequel to Janie and Quinn’s story from book #1.

The stories based in Chicago, revolve around the members of a weekly knitting group. All smart, hardworking, educated, accomplished women that come together to share time, spirits and the love of all things yarn.
In Neanderthal Seeks Human, we are introduced to Janie, the only non-knitter of the group, who is content attending the weekly gatherings more for the camaraderie and snacks than the creative outlet the others find in the clicking of needles.

The story begins with Janie, who has had a disastrous day. Finding herself surrounded by her knitting pals, they all begin to dispense advice on how she needs to proceed with her new and unexpected situation. A situation that includes a very attractive security guard the group has dubbed Sir Handsome McHotpants.

Janie Morris through a series of unfortunate events, finds herself homeless, jobless and without prospects. Lacking some basic social graces, she compensates with vast amounts of knowledge on just about every topic imaginable.

Dr. Elizabeth Finney is Janie’s best friend and college roommate. An ER resident, who works tons of hours, takes Janie in as she tries to put back the pieces of her life.

Jon Holsome, is Janie’s ex, who even though he did the unthinkable, still loves her madly and wants her back desperately.

Quinn Sullivan is a security guard in the building that Janie worked in, where she had been secretly admiring from behind potted plants.

Jem Morris is Janie’s younger sister. While they are separated in age by a few years, the resemblance between the sisters is strong. And while Janie took the high road and went to college to become an architect, Jem took the low road directly to the seedy underworld of crime.

Janie is not your typical woman. Though highly intelligent, she comes off as naive, aloof, or oblivious. She has a penchant for comic books, vodka, being an endless vessel of obscure and trivial information.

The adventure begins when Quinn, aka McHotpants, runs into Janie and Elizabeth at a nightclub and provides Janie with a potential job lead at the security firm where he works. Her interview goes swimmingly and she is hired as a Senior Fiscal Project Coordinator. As the two begin working together she finds herself comfortable with Quinn in ways she never felt with her ex.

But when her sister Jem, reaches out to her wanting to visit, Janie’s life takes some unexpected turns and when she needs them most, her knitting crew are there to help her in any way they can. Let’s just say that Bitches with knitting needles be crazy! The Knitting series shows that smart is the new sexy!

In the second book, Friends Without Benefits, the story focuses on Dr. Elizabeth Finney. Elizabeth is crazy about boy bands, is a fierce knitter and suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome. Preparing for her high school reunion back in Iowa, she finds herself facing a part of her past she wishes she could leave there.

Nico The Face Moretti (Manganiello), host of the television show Talking with the Face, is sitting in a consultation room in the hospital with his mother and niece. Visiting to learn more about a clinical research trial, Elizabeth must speak to this blast from her childhood, a blast that she did not particularly like. Dubbed Skinny Finney by Nico, she felt like a double dose of teenage girl fail at the hands of her tormentor.

When Janie is unable to head to Iowa with her, Sandra (another member of the knitting group) offers to be her friendscort to the event. Sandra a psychiatry resident, capitalizes on the confined space during the drive to analyze Elizabeth and what her motivation is to attend the reunion. Based upon the fact that Elizabeth shared she did not have friends or a true connection to those she attended school with, it was more of an opportunity to say “Look at me now!” more than anything else.

When an unexpected guest appears at the reunion, Elizabeth is both thrown off kilter and does the unimaginable when she shouts a most inappropriate comment to a room full of people.

Dr. Elizabeth Finney is an emergency room resident working on a research clinical trial that is having great success with improving pulmonary impairments.

Nico Manganiello is a television star that grew up in Elizabeth’s hometown. Talk, dark and devastatingly handsome, Nico is an Italian Adonis.

Sandra is a psychiatry resident at the hospital where Elizabeth works and a fellow member of the knitting club.

Rose is Nico’s mother and Elizabeth’s late mother’s best friend. She dispenses advice and wisdom with hearty helpings of manicotti and red sauce.

This series of romantic comedies proves to be just what the doctor ordered as the cure for its angst ridden counterparts.

We really enjoyed getting to know Penny through messages back and forth during the reading process. Here is our interview:

RMWTPC – These stories were a joy to read and refreshing in that the characters were almost too smart for their own good. How did you develop such well rounded and grounded group of fictional individuals?

Penny Reid – Oh jeeze. That’s really nice of you to say/type/write/infer/imply! Thank you. One thing I do before I start writing is think about how the character moves, how they (physically) display happiness, nervousness, amusement. I also really try to create flawed characters (because people are flawed). A combination of their flaws and strengths (their anxieties and areas of confidence) ultimately dictates how they will react to any given situation. Also, I have a confession (about the knitting group): they are all based on real people (albeit, some are a closer likeness than others). Therefore, a lot of the dialogue has been lifted from actual conversations.

RMWTPC – How much and what types of research were involved in creating Janie’s many tangents of verbose yet obscure conversation fillers?

Penny Reid – I am ashamed to admit that most of it came from my head based on my own random research over the past 10 years (of topics that are of interest to me). Obviously, after I wrote each scene I would go back and fact check. Sadly, I am an accumulator of useless facts.

RMWTPC – While writing is a part time gig for you, your pay the bills profession is in medical research. Is Angelica’s condition in the book something you are currently doing biotech work on?

Penny Reid – Not currently Cystic Fibrosis (some years ago we were involved in several CF clinical trials); but rather a close relative of that disease (and even more rare) called Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (or PCD for short). I debated using PCD as Angelica’s disease but, ultimately, decided against it. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is much more recognizable and there are several (current) clinical trials for CF. PCD is very rare and there are no treatment options currently endorsed by the FDA for children with this disease.

RMWTPC - You mentioned in a previous conversation that you were going to offer this story for free for a brief period. Then when it went back to a pay format you planned to take a portion of the proceeds and donate them to research foundations. Please share in greater detail your plans for this generous support of your profession and how your readers can help spread the word.

Penny Reid – Sure! I'll be picking 12 foundations over the next year (1 a month) and highlighting the foundation on my blog. I'll donate a percentage of the profits to the highlighted foundation for that month. Some likely candidates: Angelman Syndrome and Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD).

There are two main ways to help:
1) Link to and share my blog posts about the rare diseases research foundations. Share/link on blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. In this way readers can help raise awareness of the diseases and the foundations.

2) It would be FANTASTIC, if a person enjoys the story, for that person to recommend the book to blogs/bloggers that she/he follows as well as her/his friends and family.

RMWTPC – How many books do you plan for the Knitting in the City series?

Penny Reid – I have a total of seven books planned (one for each of the ladies) plus a much requested sequel for Janie and Quinn. I hope to release at least 2 books a year until the series is complete.
Thank you, Lisa, for being so kind, generous, and all around sweetly amazing! <3 RMWTPC – Thank you Penny for writing these amazing books!

You can follow Penny on her blog at: http://reidromance.blogspot.com/
On facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReidRomance

And you can purchase her books on:
Amazon at:
Friends Without Benefits: http://www.amazon.com/Friends-Without-Benefits-Knitting-ebook/dp/B00FJJN0WC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Neanderthal Seeks Human: http://www.amazon.com/Neanderthal-Seeks-Human-Knitting-ebook/dp/B00BUWA58E/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380595598&sr=1-2
Barnes & Noble at: Neanderthal Seeks Human: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/neanderthal-seeks-human-penny-reid/1116351661?ean=2940045193061
Smashwords: Neanderthal Seeks Human: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/327102

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