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Today is the launch party for our very own Tamra Baumann, winner of the Golden Heart Contemporary Series category 2012, whose debut novel, IT HAD TO BE HIM, comes out today! **Cue confetti** Please take a glass of virtual champagne and join us in toasting Tamra with a few … well …personal questions about her protagonist, […]

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It’s a Launch Party! Let’s Celebrate Tamra Baumann’s IT HAD TO BE HIM

Posted by on Apr 1 2015, 1:00 am

Share This!

Today is the launch party for our very own Tamra Baumann, winner of the Golden Heart Contemporary Series category 2012, whose debut novel, IT HAD TO BE HIM, comes out today! **Cue confetti**

Please take a glass of virtual champagne and join us in toasting Tamra with a few … well …personal questions about her protagonist, her hero, and her favorite scene to write in the book. …

First, let’s see that great cover:



Isn’t that flirty and romantic?

And here’s the blurb:

Even though Meg Anderson’s hell-raising days are over, coming home to Anderson Butte isn’t easy, especially when her impossible-to-please dad is the mayor and her do-gooder siblings run the place. But with another job lost and the gorgeous father of her daughter trying to make contact after disappearing three years ago, a break is definitely in order. Hopefully the little town filled with big, juicy secrets can help.

After being off the grid for years, Josh Granger, a man with his own secrets, wants Meg and his daughter back. But first he has to get past townspeople as protective as a pack of rottweilers. He’s not the man Meg thinks he is, but he can’t tell her why…not yet.

As Meg slowly warms to Josh, it’s clear the old spark is still there. But when his secret is exposed—along with Meg’s own shocking revelation—will it tear their family apart again, or bind them forever?

Okay, first of all, Tammy, we want to hear how you got The Call. What went through your head? Did you go flying off your treadmill desk?

Ha! I didn’t have my treadmill desk quite yet when I got the call. But after ten years of “no’s,” it was a little surreal to finally hear the word yes! And super exciting after it all sank in. I may or may not have done a little dance in my yoga pants! *Off to check You Tube to be sure there’s no actual proof.* ;0)  

Your secret’s safe with us. Now, this is the first in a series of books in the small town of Anderson Butte. What inspired you to write a small-town story?

My parents told stories of growing up in small towns—barely dots on the map in IOWA! And my sibs and I grew up all across the country as military brats, sometimes moving every six months. When we were “forced” to spend time on my parents’ family farms, the big attraction was finding ways to escape the boredom and walk the railroad tracks into town.

Once there, we’d tug open the diner’s door, complete with a bell that announced our presence, and then we’d hop up on barstools at the counter, hopeful for some forbidden ice cream cones before dinner. The whole idea of not needing money and running up our grandparents’ tab seemed pretty slick at the time.

Depending on who was behind the counter that day — the scary waitress with the big teased hair or the kind-hearted owner (who’d always had a crush on my mom growing up) — determined if we got ice cream or if we got sent home for dinner. It was the same in every store on main street. People who I could never recall meeting knew who we were the moment we walked through the door. It kinda freaked me out at first, but as I got older and wiser about ice cream sneaking methods, I became fascinated by what it’d be like to live in a place where everyone literally knew your name.

And voila, Anderson Butte, Colorado — a beautiful little lake town, filled with nosy folks who banded together to create a secret celebrity hideaway to save their town from extinction — was born.

Meg is the feisty heroine of this book. I just loved her and her spirit. What did you most like about writing Meg?

Meg is a reformed bad-girl with a heart of gold she fiercely protects. Her father can’t stand her and Meg never knew why (until I wrote this book for her so she could figure it all out), so I made her snarky yet vulnerable at the same time. Since I’m SUCH a stranger to snark, I had to do a TON of research on the subject, as I’m sure you can imagine :0)

So then I had to create a hero who sees through Meg’s defenses, and who could match her snark for snark. ;0) Their banter was my favorite part of writing this book.

Josh is the sexy hero of this book. Was he inspired in any part by your own loving hubby? What do you think are the most important aspects of a good romance hero?

I suppose my heroes must be influenced by my kind, funny, always-patient-with-my-antics husband. He works for homeland security and can’t talk about his work, so many people see him as the strong, silent type—unless he’s talking about football or 100-mile bike rides, then you can’t shut the man up! When people call him out for being quiet, he says it just appears that way because of his chatty wife. I’m still not sure if he’s joking when he says that…

I’m a lover of beta heroes who can be alpha when they need to be. Mostly because my heroines don’t want to be taken care of, rather they want a man who can match their wit, and strength, but at the end of the day will take her car to have the oil changed because she hates doing that.

RT Book Reviews gave this book four whopping stars (yayyyyy!!!) and called the characters “vividly drawn.” Who was your favorite secondary character to write?

My favorite secondary character to write was the heroine’s feisty grandmother, Ruth. This character is based loosely on my own grandmother, but I took a lot of liberties with her and made her a little more fun and a lot scarier, with her gun-toting ways. She’s a complex character that we’ll learn a little more about as each book progresses. Just a little hint: in book 2, It Had to Be Love, the reader finds out that at nineteen Ruth had been married to a notorious bank robber. (Unbeknownst to her until it was too late and the guy robbed her father’s bank!)

There are so many funny, quirky scenes in this book. What was your favorite scene to write?

Hmmm. That’s a tough question. It might be the scene where the townspeople— who have long memories of Meg’s antics as a kid— forget that for a moment and band together at the diner to shield her from Josh when he first comes to town. It’s like in those goofy old “B” westerns when the good guys bumble around, and then despite themselves, manage to run the bad guy out of town.

You have some really fun family antics going on in this story, too, with a crazy – but, ultimately, very loving – fam. Inquiring minds want to know: Does your own family resemble any of this?

Ha, absolutely! I have a HUGE family and with that comes lots of drama. I didn’t have to look far for character ideas. But then I had to tone some of them down for the book to make them realistic to the reader. Believe it or not, I’m considered one of the normal ones in my family! (I have some real doozies for relatives, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world!)

Tell us three quick things about you that would surprise people who think they know you:

  1. I was a drummer in high school—first chair!
  2. I wanted to be a professional tennis player until an ankle injury in high school ended my chances. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
  3. I’m a writer who doesn’t know how to type! I missed typing while moving around the country as a kid.

Publisher’s Weekly (in a starred review! whoo-hoo!) called this book a “perfect balance of lighthearted humor and true emotion.” I have to say, I agree! Which part is easier for you to write, the humor or the emotion?

Oh, the humor by far! Being a goofball is easy, but being serious and digging deep takes major work for me. I added a few characters as tools to help remind me to add true emotional depth to what otherwise would have been just a silly romp. Ten-year-old Eric, an orphan, Charlie, a beloved old horse, and even a few puppies and a momma dog who are the only ones who love Eric until the hero and heroine save them all. ;0) 

What more can we expect from Anderson Butte? What’s coming up next from you?

I just turned in book 2, It Had to Be Love—The quiet sheriff of picturesque Anderson Butte unexpectedly falls for the beautiful new dentist who’s hiding a dangerous secret that could cost her life if she can’t overcome her past and learn to trust him. It releases September 8th.

And I’m just starting the third book, about Casey, the oldest sister, and a bad-boy rock star she wants nothing to do with at first, until she unearths his deeply buried secrets. (Can you sense a secrets theme here?)

Oooh, this is going to be such a fun series to own ALL of the books! Okay, tell us where we can buy them:


IT HAD TO BE LOVE (preorders):  


TammyAnd now … Giveaway Time! Tammy would like to give away a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected commenter below, answering the question: Have you ever lived in a small town? If so, thumbs up or down?


51 responses to “It’s a Launch Party! Let’s Celebrate Tamra Baumann’s IT HAD TO BE HIM”

  1. Carol Post says:

    Great interview! IT HAD TO BE HIM sounds like a really fun story, Tammy. I just downloaded it to my Kindle and can’t wait to dig in!

    I haven’t lived in a really small town like the one in your book, but I’ve never lived in the city. The town I’ve lived in most of my life has a population of about 14,000, not a true small town, but smaller than most.

    Good luck on your release!


  2. Jillian Lark says:

    Congrats, Tammy! I can’t wait to read IT HAD TO BE HIM plus the rest of the series. I lived in one small town in the U.S. and one a bit larger in England. Liked the walkability of both, but fell in love with the historic beauty and charm of England.~Jillian who’s waving her boa and jumping-up-and-down happy for you.

    • Oh, living in England sounds fab! I’m going to London and Ireland this summer to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary and am really looking forward to it!

      Hope your writing is going well! :0)

  3. Pintip says:

    Congrats Tammy!! I am so excited for you! I love this story!!!
    Enjoy today, and I hope you treat yourself to something nice! Xxxxxx

  4. I grew up in a small town and it was a good and safe life. We moved to California and eventually, I moved to San Antonio, Tx, a great place to raise my son. But after I remarried, I longed for that small town atmosphere again, but in a different locale. The move was not a pleasant experience. we were not welcomed – too many “outsiders” moving in, we were told. I’m so happy for you and your release! It’s a wonderful story!

    • Kathleen, from your posts, I think you must live in one of the most beautiful places on earth! So glad you found your “home” there!

      Thanks for taking the time to say hi!

  5. Tamra,

    The story, the characters, the humor and the intrigue sound fabulous! It seems like being able to pull from your own experiences lends believability, while allowing your imagination to take over to tweak and twist real life events/people/places must be a load of fun! 🙂

    Can’t wait to dive into the series and meet your characters. I’m sure I’ll have some new Keeper Shelf novels for my office. 🙂

    Congrats on the release! You deserve the fun and the celebration!!!

    Hugs, Pris

  6. A.J. Larrieu says:

    Congratulations, Tammy! This book sounds like so much fun. Banter is one of my favorite things to read! 🙂

    • Hi A.J.!

      Thanks for stopping by! I KNOW how busy you are running after a little one, working full time and writing fabulous books! And I know you live in one of my favorite smaller big towns, San Francisco! Hope you’re still loving it!

  7. Tammy, I loved the banter and snark in your book but didn’t feel it took away at all from the deep emotional moments. Loved it and can’t wait for more Anderson Butte! And I’m with you on those hot beta heroes all the way! Congrats!

  8. So pleased for you Tammra and well deserved. I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in small-town America and meeting your intriguing characters – and getting into some snarky dialogue, my favourite kind when not directed at me!

    Love and hugs

    Natalie Meg

    • HI Natalie!

      Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing the snippets you occasionally share about your village, and your animals etc. Best of luck in the RITA’s ! So well deserved my friend!

  9. Sharon Wray says:

    So excited for your, Tammy. And I can’t wait to read it!!!

    I have NEVER lived in a small town, but I’d love to one day. But my DH, who grew up in small towns, keeps telling me they’re not as charming as they look and he’d never go back to one.

    But at least I can read about them in your books!

    • Hi Sharon,

      Congrats on the GH final!! I expect we’ll be attending your launch party here very soon!

      Your husband holds the same sentiment my parents both did about small towns. It’s why my dad joined the Navy and my mom went to flight attendant school. She never got her wings, though, because she met and married a Navy pilot who made her move all the time! (I think you can relate to that a bit, no?)

  10. Robena Grant says:

    Congratulations on release day, Tamra! Love the cover, and the insight into the story, and I especially like small town settings. I’m looking forward to the read.

    Wishing huge success for you!

  11. Loved the post and the book. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

  12. Congrats on your release, Tammy! The book sounds absolutely delicious. For me, humor has to rest on a foundation of emotional truth or it doesn’t strike the right note. This sounds pitch perfect (to continue with the music metaphor). I’m already intrigued by the orphan, the dog, and the grandmother. Not to mention the snark! (Yay snark!)

    I’m as far from a small town dweller as it’s possible to get, I think, but I do love the idea of a community where everyone knows you–for better and for worse!

    • Thank Talia!

      And congrats on being a RITA finalist! Well deserved! I will be rooting for you on the big night!

      And so true, NY City is about as far away from small town living as there is. But it’s always fun to hear about all of your NY adventures!:)

  13. Jean Willett says:

    Congrats on your debut release, Tammy!! I received my copy this morning…woohoo!Can’t wait to read it. My first small town was Vidalia, Louisiana, population 4750. No bookstore :(. It was right on the Mississippi River across from Natchez, MS. 🙂

    • Thanks Jean!

      And wait, Vidalia like the onion? (And what a fine onion it is!) That must’ve been an interesting place to live! Hope your hunt for a new home is going well!
      Thanks for stopping by today!

  14. Terri Osburn says:

    Me! *raises hand* I lived in a couple of small towns in AR. Like, less people in the entire town than are living in my current neighborhood. There were good points and bad points. I’m a suburbs girl so small town close to a big town works best for me.

    Congratulations on releasing your baby into the world. May she soar to new sales heights!

    PS: We need to talk because I think we wrote the same heroine. 🙂

  15. Tammy!! HUGE Congrats! I’m so thrilled for you! I can’t wait to read it!

    Ha! I was born and raised in Faith, NC, population 621. I love small towns.

    • Hi Susan!!

      621 people? That IS a small town! Nice you appreciate all that comes along with living in a hamlet so tiny! 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello!

  16. Karen says:


    Congrats on the release, the review, and sharing a few of your secrets. I have It Had to be Him downloaded on my Kindle. I can totally see it as my weekend read.

    And I live 9 miles from the house I grew up in and 3 miles from the hospital I was born in. So, I not only grew up in a small town, I’m still there and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

    I love your humor on and off the page. You can be ‘chatty’ with me anytime.

    • Hi Karen,

      So you stayed put and are still loving it? That’s awesome. I know the whole town really came together for your family during some tough times not too long ago, so I think I can see why you are so happy there. Thanks for taking the time to say hi!

  17. Started reading and I luuurrrrvvvess it, Tammy! Congrats on your release!

  18. Tammy!!!!! *that’s me screaming* I’m so freaking happy for you and for the release of your awesome book. I cracked up about your researching snark. Cracked. Up. 🙂
    I wish I could meet your family because they sound like real characters. My grandmother’s name was Ruth. Isn’t that funny? But she didn’t tote guns around.
    I love small-town contemporaries. There’s just something so cool about that Cheers idea–where everybody knows your name. I can just see you twitching your snarky self through town to get yourself an ice cream. I used to do the same exact thing when we went on vacation in Canada. My grandparents had a tab at the snack bar, and I was constantly “buying” my friends treats. I was quite the big spender. lol.
    I can’t wait to read all the books set in this town. I’m so glad you finally did some research on snark. Hopefully you got it right. 🙂
    Love you!!!!

  19. Sharon Wray you are the winner of the $20 Amazon card! That’ll buy a few of your favorite books, no? Tell me where to email the gift card at and I shall get it right to your inbox!

    Thanks everyone for the well wishes and for taking the time to stop by and say hi! And a special thanks to Laurie for being kind enough to interview me!!

  20. Big congrats, Tammy! I love me a good series and the three books you have in the works sound great 🙂 Can’t wait to read, “It had to be Him”.


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