Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Vonnie Davis, who is sharing her book, Back Where You Belong, part of the Honky Tonk Hearts series with us!
Please show Vonnie some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
I’m a fairy godmother who wears the feathered boa of a romance writer. I love giving my characters their happily-ever-after ending. Why not? I’ve had it in my own life. I was alone for twelve years before I met the love of my life, my soul mate, my stud muffin. And, after dreaming of writing for over fifty years, I finally took things seriously, learned my craft and started writing. In the past three years, I’ve written and contracted eight titles. One of the great benefits of retirement is I can now do what my heart desires—write romance. Oh, and spoil my six grandchildren, of course.
Stud miffin… Love that!
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?
A burgundy leather recliner with my laptop on an air-cooled platform on my legs. My spoiled tabby cat curled against my leg, one paw wrapped around my calf as if he’s afraid he’ll topple off in his sleep. A cup of coffee waits on the table to my left and a basket of dictionaries, thesauruses and books on craft sits on the floor to my right. Beethoven, classical Spanish guitars or Bob Dylan playing in the background.
Sounds comfy. My couch is burgundy-ish. I listen to country music while writing usually.
For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
I have baby name websites I visit for first names. For last names, I jot down names on the backs of football or basketball jerseys. As for titles, sometimes they simply come to me, sometimes not. For Back Where You Belong, I had written lyrics to a country and western song and the chorus ended with those four words, so it seemed like the logical title.
I’ve never thought of jerseys for names, cool idea! And I love the title of your new book.
What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
Decide the genre of your heart. What do you most enjoy reading? Study it. Buy books by debut authors in that genre. New writers are often held to a higher standard than those who have already made their name in the business. Those authors are often writing books to fit readers’ expectations of twenty years ago. New authors are more cutting edge. Their writing is crisper, stronger, more sigh-worthy.
Then write. Study your craft. Write. Take online workshops. Write. Learn to use the delete key. Write. Find critique partners. Write. Rewrite. And write some more.
I adore my delete key! Lol But I agree with the standards new writers are held to. Good advice from a queen of romance.
The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
Cleve your soul in two.
I’m serious. Take a sharp knife and slice that sucker in half.
Cram all the creative juices you possess into one half and seal it with melted chocolate.
Convert the other half into a marketing wizard. Learn how to identify your market, to evaluate sales data and to write a marketing plan. Become an expert in every form of social media out there. Plan on devoting hours every day to self-promotion AND write, write and rewrite.
Cut it in half… I guess that’s about right. 🙂
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
That’s easy. William Shakespeare for dazzling me with his use of words, entrancing me with his complex characterization and for showing me the value of comedic relief. I mean, really, Hamlet should have been on Prozac.
LOL Touche, m’lady!
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Hold on, Calisa, darlin’ you know I never use one word when six will say so much more. <cheesy grin>
Yes, I do know and I can hardly wait for your answers! 🙂
Favorite animal? Cats, giraffes and koala bears
Well, I wasn’t expecting those at all, well, maybe the cat! I had a stuffed koala when I was younger…I mean, my Doberman/Rottweiler puppy had one, and she slept with it held tight in her ‘arms’ every night, in my bed.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Spring and Fall.
Favorite food? I would say cream-filled donuts, but I’m on a diet. Cheese pizza, okay, so it’s a “kinda diet.” Chocolate and cheesecake brownies. Pahh, the hellwiththediet. Homemade seafood chowder. Hey, fish is good for you. French onion soup at my favorite café in Paris.
Well done! 🙂 I love your diet. Think I need to get on one…
Okay, Flash four. Ready?
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a paranormal romance—a bear shifting hero, a heroine who is an animal communicator, matchmaking ghosts and a grandmother with pink hair and pink pelican bedroom slippers she insists on wearing everywhere. I suppose one could call it a light-hearted paranormal…or simply insanity on a page, I’m not quite sure yet.
I’m still trying to picture the slippers…
What are you sharing today?
I’m very excited to talk about a recent release. Back Where You Belong is my second story in the Honky Tonk Hearts series with The Wild Rose Press.
Ooh! I loved Those Violet Eyes and I have Back Where You Belong and can’t wait to read it! Did you bring us a taste?
Here’s the blurb:
While shooting pool at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, rancher Tyler Desmond takes an errant dart in the neck. Ready to retaliate, he’s instead captivated by the blonde who threw it. Tyler isn’t interested in opening his heart, so why does he kiss the verbal buzz saw? Just to shut her up?
As a teenager, Lacy LaRoche had a secret crush on Tyler. When the dart brings them face-to-face, all she can do is chatter—until he kisses her. But Lacy didn’t come back to Texas to fall in love. She’s hiding another secret: her roommate surreptitiously videotaped Lacy undressing and posted it on the internet.
When Tyler’s daughter is bullied at school, Lacy must reveal the truth and face the emotional damage of cyberbullying. Over-protective of his daughter—and his heart—Tyler must learn to trust again. Can two scarred hearts find their way back to where they belong?
Can we have a tad more? Please, with cherries on top?
I’d love to share a short excerpt:
“Here she is. My granddaughter will have coffee made in a jiffy. Tyler, this here’s little Lacy. You remember her? My state barrel-racing champion?”
Damn good thing he was sitting down. Little Lacy, as Frank called her, was the blonde from the Lonesome Steer. He’d thought of little else since their encounter five days ago. After much soul searching, he attributed his impulsive behavior to a combination of the beers he drank and too many nights without a woman. No doubt if he ever saw her again, she’d have little effect on him.
He’d been wrong.
Damn, dead wrong.
Her eyebrows rose to kiss the blonde curls covering her forehead. Those blue eyes of hers, opened impossibly wide, were nearly turquoise in the daylight. A man could lose himself in them. She wore a pink tank top with a red bra underneath, if the strap peeking out was any indication. He hardened as soon as his mind snagged on the visual of her in a sexy red bra. Long,
shapely legs grew out of the tight denim shorts she wore. But the thing that did him in was her bare feet with toenails painted alternately red and hot pink, as if she couldn’t make up her mind which color to use. She was a sweet, amusing piece of work.
“Yes, I remember Lacy.” She wasn’t the kind of woman a man soon forgot. Nor could he forget the horse-crazy teenager she’d once been. Only back then, she’d been skinny as a fence post. His gaze swept over her. Now she was every man’s fantasy—or at least she’d been his the last few hot, sweaty nights.
She opened and closed her mouth twice, and then pursed her lips. Knowing full well what was about to happen, he covered his mouth with his hand to hide his grin.
Holy crap! The guy from the bar was sitting in her kitchen and looking at her as if he couldn’t believe this crazy quirk of fate any more than she could. Now, if she could only get through the next few minutes without prattling and making a fool of herself—once more.
“Hello, again, Lacy.” His deep voice washed over her, raising gooseflesh and setting her insides to melting. Then he smiled and her heart stuttered for a few beats. Only one man in the entire world could smile like that with dimples so deep they carved grooves into his cheeks.
“You’re…you’re Tyler Desmond? I haven’t seen you since I was a teenager and you were young and handsome.” Shit, did I say that?
Tyler’s chocolate eyes narrowed.
“I don’t mean you’re not still handsome, you’re just older.” She cleared her throat and glanced frantically around the room, mentally searching for a way out of this awkward situation. “Not that you’re real old.” She waved a hand in expression. Men like Tyler didn’t age, they sauntered into the arena of perfection. “You’re just…older.” And twice as sexy. She pursed her lips. “I
had a serious crush on you at one point.”
His dark eyebrow quirked in silent surprise.
“I can’t believe it’s you. Why didn’t I recognize you the other night?” She fingered her curls and shook her head once. “You, of all people. I even took a picture of you years ago, when you weren’t looking. Just one. A profile shot.”
Now both dark eyebrows rose.
“Had it blown up poster-sized and taped it to the ceiling over my bed. That was ten years ago, the summer I turned fourteen.” Shut up! For God’s sake mouth, shut up!
But, of course, her demon tongue kept right on talking.
Haha! Typical Vonnie style. LOVE the humor you infuse in all your books, dear.
Speaking of all your books, where can we find you and yours?
Ladies, one question. When you get nervous are you prone to saying dumb stuff like Lacy or find you’re more accident prone? Or do you simply get quiet?
I usually just say something stupid…
Thank you so much for playing along Vonnie! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day. Well actually, I think you’ll be back next week. Right?
That’s right, Calisa!
I love it! More fun times. 😆