Please make welcome a sister Rose from The Wild Rose Press, and a dear friend, Melody DeBlois! We're celebrating her debut new release, That April in Santa Monica! The Tavern is serving champagne and cheese tarts, so grab a glass and let's hear what Melody has to say about her new book...
Congratulations on your new release, Melody! Delighted you could be here today. I'll start by asking one of my favorite questions: Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?
I grab coffee and settle at the desk to write. To stay consistent with the mood and voice, I skim through the last few chapters. I work until I am starving, then break for a meal. Three days a week, I exercise to music with a group of ladies. By the time I return, I’m revitalized and able to work into the afternoon. Then I market—promote, promote. At five, I start dinner. I’m not one to work into the night. If the writing doesn’t get done that morning, it doesn’t happen, and I’m grumpy.
Exercise is good for the body and mind, Melody! Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
The book is called Undercover in Venice Beach. It’s about Audrey Powell, who has just lost her mother. She’s returned to Venice Beach to take over the tea house her mother made so special. She’s determined to keep Mama’s spirit alive. But she has no one to help her run things…until enter Liam James, the hunky chef who works miracles with food.
Liam James is a spy with British Intelligence. He sets up surveillance in the tea house where he believes secrets are being leaked that threaten national security. To fit in with the clientele, he must work under the guise of a chef. Never has he allowed a woman to get in the way of a mission until he meets Audrey. The trouble is, she isn’t who she claims to be.
Oh! I like the name of this British spy! I'm intrigued. What inspired you to write this book/series?
I wanted to write about women suffering from loss and grief, but I wanted to keep it mostly light and often humorous. I’ve always liked stories that have to do with emotional growth and the possibility of miracles. I hope this series accomplishes both.
As I've often stated, "Life is messy, but humor helps to release the tension." What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?
That’s easy, my ink pens with The Wild Rose Press logo. Here’s the story. I picked up a TWRP pen at a writer’s conference. I wrote daily with that very pen, imagining that I was with the company. When I submitted my manuscript, they accepted it for publication. Afraid I’d run out of ink, I promptly asked for more pens. So, there they stand in their rose-gold container to remind me the magic of believing is possible.
How beautiful, Melody! Now, you’ve been given a golden ticket to time travel into the past. Whom would you meet and why?
I would love to go back in time and meet Charles Dickens. Never was there such a wordy writer. He wrote about the dangers of technology. I’d tell him about our youth who would rather text than talk. I’d be interested to hear what he’d have to say.
What an interesting choice! Now for some fun questions. Do you prefer…
Champagne or Beer? I’d choose a beer, especially Corona Light. I have one a day.
Southern drawl or Scottish burr? I’m partial to talk just moseying along— “I’m fixing to pour me some house wine of the south—sweet tea, that is, and drink it with fried green tomatoes.” Then again, I’m keen, too, for the rough edges of, “Might I be having a wee word with you?”
Kilt or Leather pants? That’s a tough choice. It depends on the day and the man.
First romance you read? Oh, blush! All the young mothers in my neighborhood got hooked on a certain book and passed it around. It was called Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. The tawdry romance would be banned today, but we thought it was wonderful.
Print book or e-reader? E-readers are cold, hard objects that you can’t cuddle up with or inhale their inky fragrance. Give me print any day.
Wishing you all the best with That April in Santa Monica!
Backcover blurb from That April in Santa Monica
Madison receives acclaim for running a talent agency for people with disabilities, but she doesn't know how to take care of herself. When her altruism becomes life-threatening—a matter of either develop healthy habits or die—she joins a reality TV show that pairs her with hot, raven-haired Brandon. He is witty, sexy, and her teacher. That makes him off limits.
After a successful run on a soap opera, Brandon stepped away from empty fame and now focuses on his work as TV's most noted health teacher. He has one fast rule—never fall for a student. But when he meets Madison, their chemistry is combustible. There's no hiding their conflict or their attraction, especially when it's all caught on film.
Sneak preview from That April in Santa Monica
“Don’t you feel the sun’s energy balancing and healing you?”
What Madison felt was Brandon’s body heat radiating through her, tightening her muscles, skimming up her spine. That kind of warmth should come with a warning— exposure might cause side effects. Maybe she could have blamed it on chemistry or like attracting like— called it a lethal injection. She was dying for want of him.
She managed to say, “I see a halo around the sun.”
“Feel it vibrate?” he asked, turning to look at her, and his eyes turned molten-blue.
Somehow, she didn’t think watching the sky had anything to do with it. The heat had gathered at the sweet place between her legs— another side effect of her being close to him. If this didn’t end up in a kiss, she didn’t think she’d be able to bear it.
Drawing in a long shaky breath, she said, “I do feel the vibration.” Oh, did she!
“Being out in the middle of nature, with the birds and the sea creatures, it does something to a person, don’t you think?”
“Amen to Mother Earth,” she said dreamily.
“There’s harmony in the sounds.” His breath seemed to have caught in his throat.
“Yes, a more beautiful melody could not exist.”
“Do you feel your eyes blur? It’s the sun cleansing you.”
Cleansing? Try heating up as if some crazy so-and-so had switched on the gas.
She moaned, “My eyes have become pools of marvel.” No, that wasn’t right. They were pools of longing, no mistaking
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Meet the Author
Born in California, award winning author, Melody DeBlois follows the sun. When she isn’t swimming laps, she’s writing sweet and sassy romances. Her heroines are self-reliant and smart and her heroes are kind by nature and love dogs. She lives in California during the summer and spends winters in Arizona with her husband. She has plotted her novels while hiking the beach or trekking across the desert. Her most treasured possession is family.
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