Casey Dawes with Character Interview + Giveaway!

I welcome Casey Dawes to the blog today, a true believer in love and contemporary romance author of the newly released CALIFORNIA SUNSET!  Casey interviews her heroine, Annie, and offers a giveaway of her novel to one lucky commentor!

Divorced mother Annie Gerhard spotted rugged new bookstore owner John Johnson at the worst possible time in her life. Her high tech company is threatening to lay her off if she doesn’t move from California to New Jersey and her 15-year-old son David is causing trouble. The recession has hit Silicon Valley hard and there are no jobs for a middle manager, no matter how good she is at her job, even if she hates it. This is no time for romance, no matter how good the man looks in his jeans.

John has escaped Montana memories of a deceased wife and betraying girlfriend by buying an independent bookstore in California. He’s got bigger problems than falling for a spunky woman with control issues. Keeping a bookstore afloat in a recession and finding a home where he can stable his horse are all he can handle right now.


California Sunset is the story of how Annie works out her problems and rediscovers something important in her life—music. Of course, there’s a little romance going on, too!

Let’s catch up with Annie and find out how she’s doing.

 Annie: How I’m doing? How do you think I’m doing? They…They’re threatening to lay me off…or send me to godforsaken New Jersey!

Casey: Well, I’m sure New Jersey is lovely. In fact, I was born, grew up there and went to Montclair State.

Annie: But my life is here!

Casey: Surely you can find another job.

Annie: You’re kidding. In a recession? I’m going to have to move. I’ve always done what needs doing.

Casey: Finding a new job can be tough. I’ve been laid off a few times, too. How long have you lived in California?

Annie: I moved here from Michigan after high school. I was so in love with Fred. He’s my ex. I didn’t know he was an alcoholic when I followed him here. It got worse after I had David, but I wouldn’t give up my son for all the corn in Iowa. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve got to do everything I can to protect him and make sure he goes to a good school. Berkeley would be good.

Casey: How do you think David’s going to take the move?

Annie: He’ll be fine. He’s a good kid. Kid’s are adaptable you know.

Casey: I have two sons. When they were younger I moved them from Pennsylvania to California. The fourteen year old boy wasn’t very happy about it.

Annie: David’s different.

Casey: We’ll see. Say, we heard you met someone new today.

Annie: (sighs) He’s gorgeous. Muscles. Great smile. Great butt. You know what I mean.

Casey: I sure do. Will you see him again?

Annie: Don’t think so. I’m moving…remember?

Casey: You sound determined.

Annie: I have to be. Fred does the best he can, but he’s no financial help.

Casey: What about your family?

Annie: Oh. No. I could never ask them for anything. There’s only my mom back in Michigan. And she’s…well..she’s got her own view of reality.

Casey: Sounds like there’s a lot you’re not saying.

Annie: No use crying over spilt milk. Forward! We’ll be fine. I just wish it could be different. (sighs again) He sure did have a nice butt.

For more info and excerpts, check out Casey’s website at

How about you? Have you ever been laid off from a job?
What did you do?

Leave a comment below and one lucky person will get a copy of California Sunset.

14 Responses to Casey Dawes with Character Interview + Giveaway!

  • I love a story that shows the struggling and the working out of a life event and then to add a little romance makes me smile. Thank you for sharing today. I would love to meet Annie and John – looking forward to some sparks a flying!

    • Thanks for stopping by Denise! Yes, I like books where a character works out a problem at the same time they’re confronted with a hunky single guy! Makes the twists a little more fun to write and read.

      Good luck!

  • My part-time job recently ended, and I feel so lucky to be able to write full-time at the moment, even better if it’s outside under the maples.

    Something tells me Annie doesn’t know what she’s in for moving across the country with a 14-yr old boy. That’s a testy age!

    California Sunset sounds like a great read, Casey!

  • I’ve been laid off three times already. After the initial shock and panic (“how will I pay my bills??”), there’s generally a sense of relief because people have been miserable there anyway. Then wait a couple of days so that your severance pay clears before filling out the paperwork for unemployment, unless you earn more than the ceiling anyway (because unemployment is calculated based on your last year’s pay so the severance will bump it up). For me, it takes a couple of months before I’m mentally ready to go on the rounds of interviews without feeling like such a failure. Generally I like my coworkers some there’s some mourning, too.

    I wouldn’t trade California for New Jersey. No way.

    • Infinitieh, I think feeling like a failure after you’ve been laid off is a common response. Kind of like a tape running over and over in your head: What did I do wrong?

      Don’t forget to leave your email to be entered into the contest to discover how Annie deals with those feelings.

      Good luck,

  • I’ve never been laid off but I know what it’s like to not know what to do next.

    • Alexandra, I know exactly what you mean. That’s when I’ve found a life coach comes in handy. In fact, Annie uses a life coach in the book to figure out what to do next.

      Good luck!

  • Nice interview. No, I haven’t.

  • I’ve been lucky enough to not have been laid off a job, but came close to having to leave due to the company not doing so well. As soon as I heard that things weren’t looking so good, I immediately updated my resume and began the search while the company dealt with the problems. I did get an offer from my very first interview and found myself in a predicament of either jumping ship or remaining loyal to a company that I really believed in. That was now 3 years ago and we are looking forward to expansion:)

    Great character interview! Sounds like this will be a great story!

    • Thanks Yadira! And congratulations on your loyalty. It’s an important quality for people to have. When I worked for a corporation, people told me to update my resume annually and look for a new job every two or three years — if only to find out what I was worth.

      Good luck in the contest.

  • I worked for a title company and I got laid off. I went on unemployment and looked for another job. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Sounds very good.