It’s Wednesday again and time to meet another awesome author. Let’s welcome JUDY POWELL, author of HOT SUMMER :)
Make sure to leave a comment after the interview because one lucky commenter is going to win a copy of her book!!!
So sit back and ENJOY…
Welcome to What to Read Wednesday Judy! I’m excited to have you here. Tell us about yourself in 30 words or less :)
Thanks for having me, Christine. In a nutshell I’m a lover of words. I love reading, writing and studying. I love travel and usually set my stories on tropical islands.
I love it! If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be and why?
Since childhood I’ve always connected with Daffy Duck. He’s crazy and can be really annoying but he’s lovable just the same. Hopefully, I’m lovable without being crazy and annoying : )
Board games or video games?
Definitely board games. I’m not a fast-paced person. I prefer the simple things in life – reading a good book while munching on popcorn or lying on the beach under a palm tree. Video games are a bit too much excitement for boring old me.
Even though I enjoy a video games at times, I always love a good board game! What genre (s) do you write?
I’ve written six romance novels and two literary fiction novels so you see where my interest lies. I absolutely love romance. The more conflict and drama, the better!
Sounds like a perfect recipe to me Judy! Describe your writing space.
Chaos. My laptop is sitting on the dining table with notebooks and romance novels piled on one side, pencils and paper on the other. Needless to say, my son and I no longer have the use of this table for meals. We use the kitchen table instead. Oh, for the day when I can have a real writing space, like an office!
Here’s a little bit about ‘Hot Summer’ -
A hot-tempered spitfire and a sexy, arrogant man – put them together and sparks fly!
After her first embarrassing encounter Summer Jones vows to stay away from suave record producer, Lance Munroe. But then she ends up working for the man. Her quick temper and sharp tongue keep landing her in hot water with him but no matter how hard she tries she can’t deny her growing attraction for him. Then they go on a business trip to Jamaica – and her world is turned upside down.
Lance is intrigued by the feisty woman who practically tells him off the first time they meet. When they begin working together he realizes how much he enjoys the challenge of taming the little tigress. But, before he knows it, he’s the one caught in the snare of passion. The tables are turned – the tigress has tamed the lion.
You had me with your awesome cover, but the blurb sealed the deal! Describe your hero using 5 words.
Lance is strong, dark, handsome, self-confident and assertive.
And can I add he’s sounding YUMMY? Lol Now your heroine.
Summer is petite, independent, feisty, curious, and strong-willed.
(No wonder they clash)
She sounds like the perfect woman to ‘tame’ him. :) What was the easiest part about writing this story?
The easiest part was establishing the settings because I’ve lived and worked in both Chicago and Jamaica so it was like describing home. No research required.
The hardest part was staying motivated. I begin so many stories and get to chapter ten then I throw the book down. I want to move on to something new. In order to stay focused I have to reenergize myself, light a new spark and get the creative juices flowing. I may do this by creating a twist in the story or throwing in a mystery. I usually get caught up in this new direction and write quickly to the end.
Great tip. How did you come up with the title?
My heroine is Summer Jones and a good portion of the story is set in Jamaica so a good friend of mine suggested that I call it ‘Hot Summer’. It’s a play on the hot summer sun in Jamaica and Summer Jones as a hot (as in feisty) young woman.
Please share an excerpt of your book.
Here you go:
As he spoke he leaned back into the couch and peered up at her through half-closed eyes. She turned away from his gaze and quickly opened the bottles and poured bubbling liquid into both glasses.
“Here you go,” she said with a smile and handed him the drink. She sat on the edge of the sofa beside him but as far away as was polite. She put the glass to her lips and sipped the sharp cold liquid, feeling the bubbles bursting in her mouth.
She felt his eyes on her and gulped more liquid, then opened her eyes wide as it flooded her throat. Her eyes burned and she struggled to swallow but it was no use. Before she could cover her mouth she coughed violently, spraying her lap and the coffee table with soda.
Summer clapped her hands over her mouth, but too late. The damage was already done. Her eyes grew huge with distress and she looked across at Lance, hot with embarrassment.
“Are you alright?” He’d quickly rested his glass on the table and was leaning towards her, a large white handkerchief in his hand. She took it gratefully, still coughing. Then the spasms gradually subsided and she was able to look at him again. Her eyes were brimming with tears.
“Are you crying?” He looked incredulous, almost out of his depth, as he raised his hand and wiped away a tear with his thumb.
Summer dabbed at her eyes, sniffed, then looked up at him again, her lips curling into a grin. “Of course not, silly. I’m not crying. It’s the coughing that made my eyes fill up with tears.” Somehow, seeing him look so nonplussed had made her more at ease with him.
“Silly, huh?” He smiled back at her. “You’re the one who gulped down a carbonated drink too fast and ended up losing the whole lot all over yourself. So, who’s silly?”
While he was speaking Lance had rested his arm at the back of the couch right behind her head and had begun to gently stroke her nape with his thumb. Summer swallowed hard but couldn’t get the lump out of her throat.
“I guess…I am,” she said, her voice breathless.
“Yes,” he whispered as he leaned forward to press his warm lips against the side of her neck, “you are.”
Summer’s breath came in shallow gasps as she sat still, not feeling she could move even if she wanted to. She was like a bird frozen in the mesmerizing stare of a snake, knowing it was about to be eaten alive but not able to make a move to save its own life.
She moaned and closed her eyes as his lips stroked the sensitive skin then moved to the base of her throat where he licked softly and gently. She didn’t realize that she was still clutching the handkerchief tightly in her hand until she felt his strong fingers pry hers open to pull it away so that he could seduce her palm with his thumb.
“Relax, baby.” He moved his lips up her neck and to her ear. “You’re so tense. Just relax.”
As he spoke he pushed her back gently into the plush pillows and began to nibble her ear lobe. He gave a lick just behind her ear and shock waves ran down her spine.
“Oh, God,” she breathed, “what are you doing to me?”
“What someone should have done to you a long time ago, Summer Jones,” he whispered. “Teach you what it means to be a woman.”
He dipped his head and slid his lips back down her neck, over her collar bone and down to that oh, so sensitive place between the curves of her breasts. Here he paused and she held her breath, eyes shut tight, wondering if he was going to stop now. She prayed he wouldn’t.
She was not disappointed. An involuntary gasp escaped her lips as he slipped a warm tongue down her cleavage, sliding it between the orbs and teasing her soft flesh until her body screamed and she felt she would die from the sweet sensation. She grabbed the back of his head and pressed him into her, wanting more of the pleasure, more of the sweetness…
What is the most difficult for you to write: characters, conflict or emotion?
I guess the most difficult for me to write would be the emotion mainly because I like to zone into the emotional scenes. If the character is laughing, I laugh, too (yes, I mean out loud) and if she cries there are tears in my eyes. It’s hard to get into the zone when there are distractions around. However, even if I’m sneaking in some minutes of writing while waiting for my son to finish karate class I still do my best to transport myself to a special place.
Do you have a particular time of the day that is easiest for you to get the words flowing?
For me, the easiest time of day is early in the morning before the phones start ringing and my son is up. I’m up at 4:00 a.m. on weekdays and 5:00 on weekends and work for about 3 hours before switching to the demands of the day. I also try to squeeze in a few minutes here and there throughout the day.
What are you working on now…and no I don’t mean laundry or dishes, I mean a current WIP? :)
Okay, so in addition to the laundry and the dishes I’m working on a story set in Miami involving a steamy romance between a Canadian photographer (who’s a real hunk, I must say) and a rebel kind of girl who runs a hotel resort in Florida. The two collide (literally) at a photo shoot that takes place on the hotel grounds.
Sounds like we can expect another good read. What are 3 writing tips you’d like to share with other authors or prospective authors with us today?
First and most important, keep on writing. Never let anything get in the way of your work. Even if you can only do a page a day, do it. By the end of the year you’ll be at page 365. Second, read voraciously in your chosen genre so that you can learn what is successful. Everyone’s voice is different and everyone’s style is different but if you understand what your audience is looking for then you can tailor your story to find a home in their hearts. Finally, promote, promote! What’s the use of having a great story if nobody reads it? Do local appearances, do online promotions and connect with bloggers such as yourself who are so instrumental in getting a book out into the public eye. A good book and good publicity – a winning combination!
Wonderful advice :) And finally Judy, where can we find you and your book?
All my books - Hot Summer; Hot Chocolat; Some Like It Hot; Coffee, Cream and Curry – are available on Amazon.com.
On my website I’ve also listed the bookstores that carry my novels – www.judypowell.com
Thank you so much for joining us today on What to Read Wednesday Judy! I’m so glad you visited!
Thank you for having me, Christine. I wish you and your readers all the best!
REMEMBER…If you’d like to win a copy of Judy’s book HOT SUMMER, please leave a comment. The winner will be drawn tomorrow morning and Judy will send that lucky someone their copy!