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TWO of my books - Friends and Lovers and Grading on Curves - are on All Romance's Daily Deal today. Both are available in multiple formats. What are you waiting for?
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"Hello! Welcome back to another edition of 'Coming Attractions.' I'm your host, Betty Bliss, and I'd like to start off with an apology to my listeners. We'd hoped to get Mia Page and Curt Walden -- the romantic leads in Grading on Curves -- into the studio earlier to coincide with their original release. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts interfered so I'm rectifying the situation today and apologize for the unfortunate delay.
Let me tell you, the wait was worth it. I can't rave enough about the new paperback edition of Grading on Curves just out. It's beautiful. Truly.
I have both Curt and Mia with me now. They're so sweet, you should see them holding hands, can hardly keep their eyes off each other.
Welcome to you both. As you know, nothing is sacred with me. I've got some questions all prepared, so why don't we start with Curt first? I want your answers honest and spontaneous, so no looking to Mia for hints, and no coaxing or prompting Curt, okay? Mia, just sit back and let him talk. You'll get your chance."
BB: "Now Curt, tell us about your very first kiss.
CW: “I don’t remember my first kiss, but I’ll never forget the first time I kissed Mia. I was walking her back to her Explorer after the art fair. We got into the back seat together. It’s funny—I’d wanted to kiss her all day, even made excuses to touch her, so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at how intense the kiss was when it came. Like stomping on the gas in a Lamborghini. Zero to sixty in under three seconds.”
BB: "My, my." Fans herself and giggles coquettishly. "Can't wait to hear how you answer this. Tell me, what went through your mind the first time you laid eyes on Mia?"
CW: “The first thing I thought was—” He chuckles. “Is she checking me out? Then I just wanted to talk to her. She looked incredibly cute. Mia hates it when I use that word to describe her, but it fits.”
BB: "Aw. Next question. If you could be any superhero for a day who would you be and why?"
CW: “A superhero? Hmm. I’d have to say Spiderman. He’s smart, has a scientific mind, a good heart, and a social conscience. Yeah, I’ll go with Spiderman.”
BB: "Interesting, but it fits. Okay, moving on. If you could take Mia anywhere in the world for a romantic date, where would you go and why?"
CW: “Since I’m only allowed one date night, I suppose I’d choose Venice. The ambiance, the cuisine, wine, and the history, not to mention the gondolas. I think we could have a very beautiful night in that city.”
BB: "You've sold me. Off the top of your head, was there one thing, a trait maybe, that immediately attracted you to Mia?"
CW: “Her blush. Mia's bashful and I love it. The second I caught her sneaking a peek and she flushed, it was like she’d crooked her finger at me. I had to follow.”
BB: "We're going to end with Five Random Facts about Curt Walden. I'll count them off on my fingers. Go!"
CW: "Uhh, I'm twenty-eight years old. Big soccer fan, but not loyal to any particular team."
BB: "Three more."
CW: "I was an exchange student and completed my senior year of high school in France. After graduation, I went backpacking across Europe before returning to the states. I'm an amateur photographer and have a lot of framed photos from my travels on the wall in my apartment.
BB: "Last one."
CW: "I play guitar in a band with no name at the Stylus Pub nearly every Thursday. Just something we do for fun."
BB: "You did great, Curt. Thanks for playing." Laughing, she turns to Mia. "Your turn in the hot seat. Ready?"
MP: Mia laughs. "I'd better be. Let's do this."
BB: "What is a morning ritual you can’t live without?"
MP: “My morning coffee. I have three cups. Otherwise I couldn’t begin to cope with getting Casey up and going. It’s not easy to motivate a tired teenager.”
BB: "I can only imagine. Let's get more personal. What was the first thought that popped into your mind when you saw Curt for the first time?"
MP: “My friend Sally pointed him out to me. I glanced over and our eyes connected. It shook me because he has the most powerful bedroom eyes. There was a definite attraction, but I was so embarrassed he'd caught me looking all I wanted to do was flee. Fast.”
BB: Glances at Curt. "And here's the blush you mentioned." She laughs. "It's charming. Mia, does Curt have a loveable habit you would be happy to live without?"
MP: “Yes! The teacher never sleeps. Sometimes he forgets himself and starts to lecture me about things. We don’t agree on everything. I kind of like that. I think we challenge each other.”
BB: "What has surprised you most about Curt? Anything?"
MP: “I had no idea he was a talented musician. And he has a beautiful voice. He’s since learned the power of that voice over me. Don’t ask for details,” she added with a wink.
BB: "But you're leaving out the best part," Betty protested, then sighed. "All right, I won't push it, but you have to give us something else instead. Do you like your fellow in boxers, boxer-briefs, briefs, or commando?"
MP: Bursts out laughing. "You're terrible. Sorry, Curt. She asked." At his silent gesture of acceptance she confessed, "I like him in, or out of, anything. He’s been wearing boxer-briefs lately. I like those a lot.”
BB: Chuckling. "Good choice. Now it's time for Five Random Facts about Mia Page. I'll let you go and count them off on my fingers. Hit it."
MP: "Oh boy, let's see. I'm an office drone at an insurance company. I'm still very good friends with my ex-husband, Greg, which makes co-parenting our son, Casey, a whole lot easier. No crazy drama."
BB: "Two down. Three more."
MP: "I love flowers and plants and spend a lot of time working and enjoying my backyard, even though I say I dislike gardening. My friend, Sally, would say, 'All evidence to the contrary.' Umm, Oh, I buy earrings, all kinds, like other women like to buy shoes. I love casual clothing with a retro look—skinny jeans and princess tops. Is that five?"
BB: "That's five. Thanks for being such a good sport about it. I know it's not easy on the fly."
The couple both murmured in agreement there.
"Thank you for coming in today and sharing a little of yourselves with our listeners. Mia Page and Curt Walden, everyone, and I urge you to go out and pick up Grading on Curves. You'll love it.
"Be sure to join us again on Coming Attractions."
Available in digital or paperback on...
Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Amazon UK / Kobo / iTunes / Createspace / Beachwalk Press
There's nothing better than curling up with a good book, especially one you don't have to charge. To have a story you love in a tangible form, fluttering the pages, holding it to your chest as you laugh and reach for your hot coffee or tea, or maybe....wine? Ah, what a feeling.
I'm so pleased I'm able to offer my wonderful contemporaries in paperback form. The latest is a newly edited and polished Forest Fires - a book particularly close to my heart. I absolutely love this cover. It's perfect.
To read more about my print versions, simply click here: Paperbacks
I'm thrilled with the new paperback version of Grading on Curves. If you prefer reading print, or simply like to mix it up and have something to display on your shelves afterwards, I think you're going to love this gorgeous book. Inside and out, it's going to make you smile. Happy holidays!
Order yours today from CreateSpace / Amazon / Amazon UK
I'm thrilled to announce the paperback version of this wonderful, steamy story has arrived. Holding my proof copy made me downright giddy. I swear. And that cover? Can you believe that cover? Still in love with it.
So, if you're like me and love to mix it up when you read, give this paperback a shot. As usual, I set the price as low as I was allowed.
Buy the Paperback
I've always been a private person. An introvert. Over the years, I've come to embrace the hermit in me. I'm cautious about what I share. Even though necessity dictates I have a social 'presence,' I feel a deep responsibility to protect the privacy of my close friends and family, as well as my own.
Writing is a solitary endeavor. It's a calling that appeals to my reclusive nature. Frankly, I'd prefer to let my work speak for itself. Unfortunately, times have changed and I have to ask, could those famously reclusive authors like J.D. Salinger or Harper Lee have gained the attention they deserved in this day and age without opening up their lives? I wonder.
I was still in my teens when I chose my pen name. Yes, I use a pen name. Even then, I knew a pseudonym was the right choice for me. I would hide behind it now had my privacy not been violated by Facebook and my real name disclosed against my strong wishes to keep my public image entirely separate from my personal life. Whether I wanted to be or not, I was outed.
I'm not entirely sure I'll ever fit comfortably in the modern writer mold. I have my doubts. The trend has been to share more of yourself, not less. People turn their cameras on themselves at the drop of a hat, and I've always ducked out of pictures. Always.
That's okay. People are allowed to snap selfies. It's their choice. I'm more bothered by camera phones being turned on unsuspecting people and those photos shared indiscriminately. That's a total violation of another individual's privacy. Just because most of us have cameras on us now, doesn't automatically grant us the right to disregard the rights of another in this manner.
I guess, the more I see violations of this sort, the more vigilant I get about protecting myself from something completely beyond my control. I'm not sure if the pendulum will eventually swing back in the opposite direction or not. I suspect, now that we've opened that can of snakes, we'll never get them stuffed back into the can. But I can hope.
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"Good afternoon and welcome to another installment of Coming Attractions. I'm your host, Betty Bliss, and I'm thrilled to have Jackson Murphy and Sabrina Eckhart, the leads from Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder in the studio with me today. I thought it would be tremendous fun to interview them separately, don't you agree? Welcome, Jackson."
"Thank you, Betty. Great to be here."
"Tell us about yourself. What’s your occupation? What are your strengths & weaknesses?"
"Whoa, going right for the jugular. You and Sabrina have a lot in common." He laughs. "Let’s see, I’m 34, the executive news director at KBHY-TV in Lewiston. My strengths? Hmm, I suppose my business sense. My weaknesses…I’d argue with this one but most people who know me would probably say I’m a little too serious.”
"Successful people are often seen as serious and driven. What’s your family like and did your upbringing affect how you are now?"
"Let’s just say it wasn’t ideal. Don’t get me wrong, my dad was an excellent provider, but that was pretty much the extent of it. He dropped the ball when it came to being present in our lives. I suppose that's why I got used to shouldering more responsibility at a young age. I stepped in for my mom and younger brother, Rob. My dad is only now trying to repair the rift in our relationship, and I’m not entirely on board yet. It’s going to take some time.”
"What tangible object would symbolize you?
"Turtles. Ask anyone what they immediately think of when my name comes up, they’ll all probably mention turtles."
Betty laughs in surprise. "Turtles? Really? He's avoiding eye-contact, ladies and gentlemen. Now I'm intrigued."
"It's a long story.”
"And judging by your smile, probably not one for the public airwaves."
"Definitely not." They share a laugh.
"All right then, moving on. Tell me how you and Sabrina met? What was your first impression of her?
“Sabrina just about ran me down with her car. I wish I were kidding, but it’s true! Then she went from ogling to injuring me. I never knew what was going to happen next. I thought she was a cute, but scary, danger to society—me in particular.”
"Oh, my. But clearly that's not all. Tell us something you like about her."
“Once I got over the panic attacks at the sight of her, I realized I’m laughing and smiling more than I have in years. She’s quirky and sweet, a good friend and great company. Being with Sabrina is a rush, a jolt of adrenaline to the system and the only other place I feel that kind of kick is in the crazy newsroom. She’s the eye of the storm and I’d rather be inside of it than get pelted by the debris that seems to swirl around her.”
"That's marvelous." Betty chortles in delight. "Just a couple more questions. If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do?"
“I wouldn’t mind borrowing my brother’s boat again. Or golf. Golf is always good.”
"And last, what CD or song best describes your relationship?"
Jackson cracks up. “That’s easy. Queen’s ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. It’s perfect.”
"Certainly sounds like it. Thank you, Jackson. My producer, Mandy, will take care of you now. Listeners, stick around. When we come back from commercial, I'll be chatting with Sabrina Eckhart."
"Welcome back to Coming Attractions. I just had a wonderful visit with Jackson Murphy from Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder and now I'm here with his charming co-star, Sabrina Eckhart. Lovely to have you, Sabrina."
"Thank you, Betty. Happy to be here."
"Sabrina, tell us about yourself? What’s your occupation? Strengths, weaknesses?"
“Ahh, Let's see. I manage the restaurant and nightclub, Oasis, and contrary to what you’ve probably heard, I’m not a total disaster. It seems to be centered around Jackson. Well, Jackson and my brother’s CD’s. And roommates, and apartments. And nippy little dogs. And … next question. I don’t have to say my age, do I? Oh, let’s just move on, okay?”
Betty laughs. "No problem. What’s your family like and does your upbringing affect you now?"
“Believe it or not, I have three older brothers; Andy, Aaron, and Sam. I got the full dose of estrogen in the family and it kind of shows up at the worst times. I give my brothers a lot of crap, but I love them, I really do, and their wives and kids. I’m crazy about my family. Oh, and I should probably mention that my parents are awesome. They’re retired and live in Santa Fe now. That means my brothers all think they have to watch over me. Like I’m a screw-up or something. It can get annoying at times. Of course I forgive them. I pretty much have to because they’re always willing to help me move when I call. Not that I move a lot. Well… next question.”
"What tangible object would symbolize you?"
“Tangible object? I'm not sure. I scrapbook—does that count? I have books full of interior and exterior pictures—furniture. Basically I’m building my dream home in my head because I can’t afford to do it for real yet.”
"Describe Jackson. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?"
“OMG! What did he tell you? I’m serious, what? Forget it, don’t answer that. Tell me this instead. Did you see Jackson’s butt? That was the first thing I noticed about him. Black running shorts and a tight butt. Stunning. I’m talking STUNNING!” Laughing now she adds, “That assessment hasn’t changed, only now I’m allowed to touch it!” She and Betty high-five over the desk. Nodding Sabrina says, “I know, right?”
"Is there anything about Jackson that you would consider a flaw?"
“He’s working on trust issues, but I totally understand where that’s coming from—and I didn’t exactly help in that department either. Fortunately, his brother, Rob, is a psychiatrist and they’re like, joined at the hip. Rob is Jackson’s First Call for Help.” Giggles and rolls her eyes. “Yeah, I was the reason he made a few of those calls.”
"What is it you want out of life?"
“I’d love a home, a decent bed—mine has a sinkhole in the middle—and well…love. Don’t we all basically want that?”
"If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?"
“It doesn’t even matter as long as I’m not at work! Probably something cheap. I live on a budget. Maybe I’d go fantasy shopping with my best friend, Tanya, to Ikea or Pier 1 Imports -- my favorite stores.”
"They always have great sales, don't they? Last question, then I'll let you go. What CD or song best describes your relationship?"
“What did Jackson say?”
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
“Of course he did. Huh. He really did? Ooooh, I don’t know now. How am I supposed to concentrate on stupid songs when I’ve got that running through my head? Dang it!”
While they laugh, Jackson swoops back in to collect Sabrina and gives Betty a broad smile. “Thank you for having us, Betty.”
“Yes, Betty,” adds Sabrina, slightly distracted. “Thank you. This was fun.” Naturally she’s still trying to come up with a better song than Jackson’s suggestion but it eludes her.
*This interview was originally shared on MJ Schiller's blog June 26, 2013. I just stumbled upon the document while cleaning house and didn't want to delete it without sharing it here first. Here's the original link. Can Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder?
Thanks for stopping by from all of us; Betty, Jackson, Sabrina, and me.
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Hopeful scribe and wordaholic. Loves reading, loves writing, loves my family and friends, and is tickled beyond measure that you've stopped by.
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