Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today, help me welcome Vonnie Davis, whose delightful Westerns are published with Wild Rose Press.

Hi Vonnie. So glad you're here. Your debut book, STORM'S INTERLUDE and also your soon-to-be released novella, THOSE VIOLET EYES, are set in the hill country of Texas. What draws you to this area? I sense you have a love affair with cowboys.

Oh, I do. I love the way they move in that loose-jointed way, silently proclaiming their innate strength and devotion to family and duty. In Storm’s Interlude, my hero is the caregiver for his family and has been since his mother abandoned him and his twin sister at the age of five. He’s hard-working, opinionated and bossy. I love writing about the alpha male and the spirited women who knock them off kilter. Usually, these women are smaller in stature or less powerful, but their strength of character allows them to go toe-to-toe with this guy—and he’s simply pole-axed by her temerity. Often, within an instant, unbeknownst to him, she owns him. Don’t you love it?


In the first excerpt I’d like to share, Rachel, a home care nurse, learns the identity of the stranger she met on the way to her new job.

STORM'S INTERLUDE:
Storm heard off-key singing when he opened the back door. He quietly toed off his boots in the mudroom before stepping into the kitchen.

An open laptop sat on the wooden kitchen table. Beside it was a mug of steaming tea. On the counter, a loaf of wheat bread rested next to a jar of peanut butter. Protruding from the opened refrigerator was a cute behind, covered by baggy yellow pajama bottoms, wiggling to the beat of the song being sung. “Shot through the heart and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name.”


The off-tune singing stopped, but that perfectly rounded bottom continued to wiggle.


“Pickles...pickles. Surely there are pickles in this huge refrigerator. Maybe some of those sweet little gherkins. Oh, look, cottage cheese. You give love a bad name…” The off-tune singer extracted a container from the crowded contents of the refrigerator, absently reaching out to set it on the counter.


Sneaking up behind her in his stocking feet, he placed a hand on the edge of the open door of the refrigerator and leaned over her bent body.


She moved a pitcher of orange juice. “Okay, pickles, where are you hiding?”

“Check behind the milk.”


Rachel yelped and spun around, her hand to her heart. Her big blue eyes opened impossibly wide. “You! Wha...what are you doing here?”


He held out his hand. “Hello, Rachel. I’m Storm Masterson, Sunny’s twin brother.”

“You…you’re Sunny’s brother? Don’t you dare touch me.” She made a fist and had the audacity to shake it under his nose. He didn’t know whether to laugh or paddle that cute behind she’d been wiggling earlier.

“You…you just keep your hands and your lips to yourself. You…you naked, kissing bandit.”

LOL.  Sounds like great fun. What else do you have coming soon?

I’m fortunate enough to have a story included in the Honky Tonk Hearts series that began last month from The Wild Rose Press. Two episodes, or novellas, will release per month as long as the series runs. My episode will release on June 27.
In this story, Win (short for Sherwin) is a wounded vet who’s come home to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul and open a ranch for amputee children. To earn a little extra coin, he’s asked his Uncle Gus, owner of the Lonesome Steer honky tonk, to give him a job as a cook. Evie works part-time as a waitress at the bar. She’s heard about this new cook and his war injuries—loss of part of his leg and some of his hearing. In fact, she’s been told to go back to the kitchen and introduce herself. Here's an excerpt from     THOSE VIOLET EYES.
Evie charged through the swinging door to the kitchen and skidded to a stop. It couldn’t be. Although his back was toward her, there was no mistaking the height and broad muscled shoulders. This mystery nephew of Gus’s was the guy who’d remarked on her eyes. Her stomach did a little twitchy dance, nerves no doubt.

She ran her suddenly damp palms over her short skirt and cleared her throat. “Excuse me. Win?”

No answer.

She took a couple steps closer and noticed he was washing vegetables under a spray of water. “Win?”

No reply.

Evie rolled her eyes and stepped behind him, tapping him on the back. The metal strainer clattered in the sink and a blur of motion barely registered before steely hands gripped her forearms. Oh my God! In a flurry of movement, he snatched her off the floor and backed her against the stainless steel counter. Cold wet hands viced her arms. Her eyes snapped wide and the air whooshed from her lungs when his body slammed into hers.


Win’s eyes were narrowed, his breathing rapid through a clenched jaw and a vein bulged in his forehead. “Don’t do that.”

The man was every inch the warrior, every hard tensed inch. He held her mid-air, so close they were nearly eyeball to eyeball. As his gaze traveled over her face and awareness evidently crept in as to the sex of his attacker, several inches of his frame hardened even more.

Evie swallowed. Oh, good Lord.

He glared and his nostrils flared.

“I…I’m sorry, Win. I called your name, but…but you didn’t answer. I was only trying to get your attention.” Her lips twitched at the humor in the situation—hadn’t Keira told her the man lost part of his hearing? Evidently she’d startled him. Poor soul. She felt a portion of herself return. A portion she’d hidden for so long; that light-hearted part of her soul that teased and cajoled. “Honest, I wasn’t trying to attack you.” She placed an open palm on his defined pecs and patted. “You’re safe with me, big guy.” Just to rattle him some more, she winked.


Win’s hazel eyes flashed for a second, then he slowly leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Well, you’re not safe with me.”

Exciting, Vonnie. Can't wait to read it. How long have you been writing?

I’m finishing up a romantic suspense trilogy, The Red Hand Conspiracy. All three books are set mainly in Europe and involve a group of terrorists, The Red Hand.

MONA LISA'S RULE hasn’t been given a release date yet, but involves an American art teacher who travels to Paris for her 40th birthday. She foils a bombing attempt in the salon of the Louvre where the famed portrait of Mona Lisa hangs. From that point on, she’s put under the protective custody of a younger government agent, Niko. Oh, the sparks that fly…


Book two, RAIN IS A LOVE SONE, takes place in Paris, Budapest and Asheville, North Carolina.


Book three, that I’m struggling to write, is JAZZBEAT OF SURRENDER, and takes place in Paris and Berlin. I’m having a hard time getting a handle on my hero. I’ve rewritten him and rewritten him. Let me tell you, this undercover German agent posing as a jazz musician can run, but he can’t hide. I WILL figure this guy out. I can promise you that! LOL


Now that sounds intriguing. Good luck on developing those stories. How long have you been writing?

I’ve started and stopped many projects over the years, but never gave myself permission to write fulltime until I retired early as a technical writer, and we moved from the DC area to southern Virginia. I’ve been writing for five years and have three books and two novellas under contract and two manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Yes, they are that bad!

What one tip would you offer writers?

Give yourself permission to write every day. We get so caught up in doing for others that we forget to care for our souls, especially our writer’s soul. Write something every day even if you can only take fifteen minutes from your schedule. By doing this, you establish a routine and your muse will take notice. After all, the more you write, the better you become. And write what you enjoy reading. I love Romance, so that’s what I write.

Thanks, again, for joining us today, Vonnie.

Oh, hon, it’s been my pleasure.

Visit Vonnie's website at http://www.vonniedavis.com/

Drop by her blog anytime. http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com/

Find her books at:
The Wild Rose Press -- http://bit.ly/rcCIMa
Amazon -- http://amzn.to/pkkcLq













36 comments:

  1. Barbara, thanks for having me on your lovely blog today. I've been looking forward to our visit. Let's get some discussion going, shall we? What do YOU like about cowboys?

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    1. Hey, Vonnie. It's been great meeting you, reading all about your stories. You can bet they're on my "to buy" list, now that I have brand new Kindle. *At Last* :0 Come back and visit when that trilogy is ready. It sounds luscious. Good luck.

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  2. What do I like, Vonnie? A better question is "what's NOT to like!" lol Love these books!!! I hoep you get your German officer in hand soon. I just hate when a character refuses to cooperate. ;)

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    1. Oh, Calisa, I hope I soon crack his shell, too. Derrek is more layered than I thought. Originally he was just an agent assigned to a job. Now he tells me he's out for revenge for his brother's murder by the terrorist group. I sense he's holding something else back, too. I don't like it when my characters keep secrets from me.

      As for cowboys? **silly grin** I'm with you. What's NOT to like.

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    2. Don't those characters know it's not cool to keep secrets from their writely mistress? I had one like that. Annoying.

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  3. Hi Vonnie and Barb! *waves*
    Great interview, ladies. And Vonnie you know I have my finger poised over the click to buy button for VE. I can't wait!!!
    Hugs-

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    1. Oh, Jennifer, you're always so supportive. Let's hope you're not the only one to click that buy link. I'm eager for y'all to meet Win, too.

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    2. Hi Jen. Good to see you. I met Vonnie for the first time on your blog and couldn't wait for her to visit me. Thanks.:)

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  4. Cowboys (sigh) I love the easygoing exterior that covers depths of emotion. Can't wait to read your Honky Tonk story!

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    1. Jannine, you know what my problem is? I'm like a child before Christmas with an ovely glued present he/she wants to present to Mommy. The child can't wait to give it...and I want to give my story to everyone so they read it. Not good for sales, though. Huh?

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  5. I've been "off" the blog circuit for awhile--I can't believe the "time-hanging-heavy-at-this-age" that I'm NOT experiencing. :-) Of course, you had me hog-tied and roped at the word "cowboy." I think I've found a new favorite author--if your excerpts are any indication, I'm hooked. I'm going to make a point of buying your "Storm's interlude" as it sounds mesmerizing, looks like the others will be on my wish list, too. :-)

    Great interview, Barb and Vonnie--so glad we were introduced.

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    1. Well, Barb, I'm pleased to meet you, too. If you buy my STORM'S INTERLUDE, my email address is in the back. Please drop me an email with your thoughts.

      I just finaled in the HOLT Medallion contest with this book in two categories: Best Book written by a Virginia Author and Best Mainstream/Single Title.

      Thanks for introducing yourself.

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    2. Ginny, you're back. Yay. No wonder you were drawn to Vonnie's post--your Old West stories and lore are absolutely wonderful.

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  6. So glad I found this interview, great job ladies. Vonnie, you probably won't remember this, but a couple years ago, you gave me some great feedback from a contest entry you judged and I wanted you to know I will always appreciate the honesty and grace you showed me in your advice. I am so happy for you and wish you all the best with these lovely books you've written! Success couldn't have come to a better lady :)

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    1. Oh, cyber-hugs to you, Charlene! I hope I was supportive and gave you some encouraging advice. I've had my share of snarky judges' comments, and they wound. They truly do. Even though I went on to contract the stories exactly as I'd written them, the judges' remarks sometimes float through my memory, even now, as I am writing. There is a way to point out a weakness of craft without wounding the author. Thanks for leaving a comment and warming my heart with your kind words.

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    2. Hi Carlene, I'm glad you found this interview, too. How great that you remember Vonnie as a helpful judge. After working with her, I'm not at all surprised. I hope your writing is going well now. Come back and see us again.

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  7. Ah, cowboys. The mystique, the ruggedness ... the fine butts in those wranglers! ;-)

    Nice interview, ladies. And Storm's Interlude? Oh yeah, Vonnie does cowboys!

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    1. The...the fine butt in those jeans??? Now, Mac, you KNOW I wasn't going to go there. But, oh yeah, there is that!

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    2. Ah, yes, Mac. Old West, Modern West--don't you just love the scenery??

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  8. Hi Vonnie,

    Love the excepts from your stories. They are definately going on my reading list.

    All the best with your other books.

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  9. Elke, love the name. I'd named the nasty ex-girlfriend, in my current WIP, Elke and changed it, thinking it was too pretty for the sneaky woman. Odd how writers think, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I'm with Vonnie and even more so with Calisa, what's not to like from the snug jeans, farmer's tan, lean and toned body, and even better with a Texan or southern drawl. I love cowboys, whether they work a ranch, ride in the rodeo, or just sit a horse nicely. True cowboys know the meaning of hard work, a day's wages for a days work. It's as much ethics and persona as anything else. Although, I will say I fell in love with horses before I ever discovered cowboys. Either way, I'll take a cowboy over any other kind of man, any day of the week, month, or year.

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    1. You're so right about the 'true cowboys' accountability. The ones I've met have been genuine--proud of working and devoted to the land.

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    2. Deb??? MY Deb??? The writer of romantic comedy? Or, so I have the wrong Deb? Hi, hon. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Hi Vonnie and nice to meet you Barbara :)

    Don't you worry - my finger is hovering over the buy link too! I can't wait! The date is a very special one to me also - and so etched in my mind. There is no way I'll be missing Those Violet Eyes :)

    Phew! You sure do know how to write cowboys! I can't wait to meet Win.

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    1. Welcome LaVerne, nice to meet you, too. :) Thanks for stopping by. Vonnie's stories seem to have the same energy as her interviews do, don't they? Hope you stop by again.

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    2. LaVerne, my lucky friend from NZ who just won a guitar necklace on TWRP Honky Tonk Hearts kick off party. Thanks for stopping by. I love cowboys, almost as much as I love writing them.

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  12. Thanks so much for having Vonnie on your blog, Barbara. I'm enjoying the HonkyTonkHearts series while pushing my way through the Lonesome Steer with my own story.

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    1. Hi Angela, I just stepped away from the party going on at TWRP to check comments. I'll be eager to read your story in the line. It's a great series, I think.

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  13. Angela, good to see you here. So you and Vonnie are kindred spirits, it looks like? Hummm. You'll have to tell me all about it at our ORA conference next month. It's OK, Vonnie, we'll keep you posted LOL.

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    1. I had a great time here today. Thanks again for having me. If you ever need a place to blog and promote, drop me an email. Vintage Vonnie is always open and we'll choose a date.

      Now, I must work some more on my edits for an historical novella, set in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory--1879. Yup, more cowboys. A widow who needs a safe place to hideout, a man who needs someone to care for his 3 year-old and a little boy who needs a mommy--and a Pinkerton agent who wants to destroy it all.

      Then I'm back to Paris and that headstrong German agent and the French woman he loves. I sure do love my job!

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  14. Hi Vonnie, Oh, I LOVE cowboys. Thanks for asking. Love the west too. Actually, when I work out in the morning I put on the Country music channel just to look at all the hunky guys! whew. That is some fine inspiration.

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    1. Hi Kylie! I almost missed you as I was saying goodnight to Barbara. In August, my husband and I are traveling to a dude ranch in the hill country of Texas. The Wild Rose Press, my publisher, is holding their annual writers' retreat. I can't wait. I'll be all eyes, let me tell you. Taking mental pictures for future stories. Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. I love those two excerpts! Your books are going on my TBR pile for sure! All the best with your books :)

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    1. Kellie, thanks. I hope you do read STORM'S INTERLUDE. It's full of passion, discovery and family--emphasis on the passion. Thanks foryour kind words.

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  16. Great interview! I love the hill country in Texas! And, I do love cowboys. Something about their arrogance attracts me to them (same with fighter pilots). But, they're SO bad for me! :)

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