I had intended to let the previous blog ride out the weekend when I posted it. But then Vonnie reminded me she was supposed to arrive bright and early today, instead of Monday as I’d announced. Plans are made to change. Right? So there I was toiling late into the night putting her sitting area together, baking, brewing—well, ok, I cheated and ran to The Corner Store For Anything Author and got all those yumilicious treats over there on the side table. Do dig in and sit back and let’s see what Vonnie has brought for us here on the ranch.
Please help me welcome my friend and fellow Rose, Vonnie Davis!
That goes double for me my friends on the east coast!
I’m having my second cup of coffee, gearing up for our visit. Yawn…I am so not a morning person, especially now that I’m retired.
Me neither, Vonnie. Don’t you just love my green horse patterned jammies? Why don’t you begin with a little about yourself?
I live in Lynchburg, VA, with my writer husband, whose book The Phantom Lady of Paris was released two weeks before mine. We are in major book promotion mode here at our house. Our cat, Jazie Miles Davis, is not impressed as he tells one and all on Twitter. Yes, our cat tweets. What can I say? He’s special.
A huge shout out of CONGRATULATIONS Calvin!
Calvin and I met late in life on match dot com, of all places. I’d been divorced for ten years, busy getting my kids through college and then going to college myself. I was the typical Grandma-in-College story.
A year to the day from Calvin’s first email, we were married. I gained a grown stepson, living in Germany, and Calvin gained three grown stepchildren and six grandchildren.
*Sigh* So romantic! The one year to the day part, I mean. The kids are just Kewl! Shutting up now.
At the time, Calvin was writing every day. I was dreaming about it. Cal insisted I retire. Why should I work if he wasn’t, he asked? Hey, who am I to argue with such intelligent logic? So, at the age of fifty-six, I retired from technical writing and slowly morphed into a romance writer. What a painful journey!
I knew how to write. What I didn’t know was the craft of writing. My first romance was so bad no one wanted it. I had much to learn—and still do. But learning keeps us young, doesn’t it? Please say, “Yes.”
My debut book, Storm’s Interlude, just kind of rolled out of my addled brain. I was pouting about my first book at the time, angry that no one liked my nice guy hero. “I suppose if I wrote the typical alpha-male, everyone would have loved the story,” I grumbled as I powered up my laptop. “Well, if that’s what they want, that’s what I’ll give them.” And I wrote the most bizarre opening scene I could think of and was in the middle of chapter four when I realized I liked these characters. The book took three months to write. The bad book no one liked had consumed over two years of writing and rewriting; maybe I’d edited the spirit right out of it…sigh.
My agent started shopping the book out to publishers on a Monday. The following Monday I had a contract offer from a small press. I told her I wanted The Wild Rose Press; I’d heard so many favorable things about them from other writers. She sent emails out to all the publishers she’d queried, telling them if they were the least interested, they had two weeks to read and offer because I already had a contract offer. At the time I thought she was being rather ballsy. I mean, who am I? An unpublished grandma, that’s who.
The following week I had an offer from TWRP. Imagine, two contract offers in two weeks. I also had a lovely rejection letter from an editor at Harlequin saying that she loved my characters and my writing, but since I wrote much in the style of Linda Lael Miller, she’d have trouble convincing acquisitions to take me on. I cried. Me and Linda Lael Miller in the same sentence was unbelievable. Simply beyond my imagination.
Since its release on July 15th, Storm’s Interlude has garnered three 5-Star reviews and a Best Book review from Long and Short Reviews. The links to those reviews are here:
Single Title Reviews — http://bit.ly/qfW9a6
One Hundred Romances Project — http://bit.ly/q3WvQy
Night Owl Reviews — http://bit.ly/qCMfcQ
Long and Short Reviews — http://bit.ly/odfEiy
Do you have an excerpt to share with us today?
I’d love to share an excerpt. Since I’ve talked about my bizarre opening scene written in an I-don’t-wanna-write-an-alpha-male snit, I’ll share that.
Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.
Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his privates with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.
She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.
The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt.
Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.
Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.
Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.
Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.
He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”
What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”
There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he strutted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.
She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him, his Stetson tilted back on his head, his hands fisted on his narrow naked hips and his mouth moving. He was no doubt cussing her out.
I just have to get this book! I love this scene. Where can I get Storm’s Interlude?
http://amzn.to/pkkcLq — Amazon
http://bit.ly/rcCIMa — The Wild Rose Press
http://bit.ly/pb9DQd — Barnes and Noble, Nook only
I blog at http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
My website is http://www.vonniedavis.com
Follow me on Twitter @VonnieWrites
Follow my Jazie @jaziemilesdavis
In honor of being nominated for Book of the Week at LASR, I’m giving away a PDF copy of Storm’s Interlude TO ONE LUCKY COMMENTER!
Isn’t that an awesome review record for one month? Congratulations on the LASR Book of the Week nomination. You’ll have to let us know how it turns out. I’ll be voting!
Now show Vonnie some commenter love and win this book! We’ll announce the winner Sunday right here on my blog so don’t forget to leave your email so we can reach the winner.
As promised I have the ticket drawn with the help of my own Wonder Feline, Trouble’s stand in (she’s on an extended vacation), Jetta the Pooch. I tried to let Jazie draw the winner but my Himalayan wouldn’t have a stranger in her house, temperamental puss that she is. So without further ado the winner of Vonnie Davis’ debut book Storm’s Interlude…
Congratulations, AJ NUEST!!!!!!
Make sure you email Vonnie so she can send your pdf copy of Storm’s Interlude to you.
Until next time,
I’m doing a bit of rambling today because I can.
I’ve nearly always ‘lived inside my head.’ When I was around fifteen I sat one day and started writing my daydreams down on paper. Yep, good ol’ paper and pen. No typewriter, definitely no computer. Pen in hand I’d stay up most of the night writing knowing I wouldn’t want to wake for school in the morning. Thank goodness I enjoyed school. When I got out of school, aged, my writing grew, the subjects changed but I couldn’t-for the life of me- create my own real characters, modeling each hero after a famous person (even in everyday settings- ugh!). Everything I wrote was in first person introspection and second person for the protaginist. Yeah– really bad writing!
It wasn’t until I’d accumulated a large boxful of this, as we in the writing world know it, “crap” that I decided to get serious. I wanted the world to read my “crap”. By that time I had been married for… a long time. I had three beautiful daughters and the first of four darling granddaughters by this time. And I’d finally discovered I can make up men! I love creating my heroes and using heroines who aren’t modeled after me. Who knew? Apparently the world of writing did, but I didn’t actively focus on that either. So how did I get from knowing nothing about writing to selling a book? You got me! Lol
Actually it took writing a lot more “crap”. And I thought I was the only person in the world who wrote in the special brand of putting words together. Then I discovered a secret world I didn’t know existed. A world just for people with voices living in their heads. I began to learn “stuff”. For instance, “crap” is a favored style for all writers! Well, maybe not ‘favored’, but well documented and verbally accepted. I can’t tell you how many authors have told me to write it. Really! When you get stuck, can’t seem to wake up the muse, stare at blank pages/screens- write. No matter how bad it is in the end it can usually be fixed. But the most important lesson in this is as long as you have something, anything written- it can be fixed. A blank page…not so much fixing going on there.
And another thing I learned; if you can’t seem to write anything- not even crap- IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! (K, this was a hard one for me because I feel responsible about any of my actions) It’s true. There’s this little invisible gnome, fairie, devil- whatever yous is- that is in charge of your writing. It’s called a muse. I should have acknowledged mine in HOME but didn’t. Nobody hardly ever gives the muse credit for good work done, other than “My muse cooperated today, loves me, is in a good mood”…etc. I haven’t figured that one out yet, but if it goes awry-blame it on the muse.
But all in all, in the end- it’s up to you. If you want to write, write.
I used to think I was strange that voices lived in my head 24/7. I talked to them, directed them. Then I found out I’m not alone. This is the brain of a writer! Me! We live with our characters constantly chit-chatting away day and night. I have long lost track of missed sleep, driving somewhere and suddenly I’m there and don’t remember how I got there, conversations (in the real world) where I apparently agreed to or said something I don’t recall agreeing to or saying. I’ve also learned such is also a “normal” part of a writer’s life. Hey look at me Ma! I AM NORMAL! I listen with one ear inside and one ear outside at all times and I never know when or how a new story idea may strike. It’s kinda like lightening, it strikes where it feels the most energetic pull, and rarely hits in the same spot twice. But it almost always leaves an impression on me.
So what about you? Are you still holed up inside you head, convinced the little men in white jackets will pop up if you open your mouth? Do you wear a sign that proclaims you one of the insane who live inside your head? Speak out! After all, as a writer in these days it’s important to be able to say “I’m a writer.” If you can’t now how do you expect to market yourself and sell those little gems once they are out of your head for all the world to gawk at?
It won’t go away, might as well embrace it while you’re wrapped tighter than a burrito in that white coat. BE PROUD!
Join me here on the ranch Monday when I have the funny and talented Storm’s Interlude author, the lovely TWRP Rose, Vonnie Davis. You won’t want to miss that one!