Welcome my friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Vonnie Davis! Please tell us a little about yourself, Vonnie.
Joya, I’m thrilled to be here to visit and talk with you and your friends. I’m not thrilled that some of you are still recovering from
. I watch the news
and fight tears for those who have lost so much. It saddens me greatly. Sandy
I live in
with a man I met online. Can
you dig it? Two old fogies looking for their HEA in the dot com world. Calvin
is a retired English teacher who is also a writer. He’s my biggest cheerleader,
without the short skirt and pompoms, of course. Lynchburg,
Although I’ve been dreaming of being a writer since the sixth grade, it wasn’t until I took an early retirement as a technical writer that I put butt in seat and fingers on keyboard. I’ve been at it for nearly four years with four projects—books and novellas—released and four more under contract in various stages of the publishing pipeline. I’m a “romanceaholic” who writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and romantic suspense.
LOL! Glad to hear Calvin doesn’t feel the need for a short skirt and pompoms in order to cheer you on. Thanks for your concerns about the hurricane. We didn’t get hit too bad here in
Maryland, but I agree that thoughts
and prayers are with those in New York and . New Jersey
What would be a *perfect day* for you, Vonnie?
Twice a week, Calvin and I take a writing day. We go to Bob Evans for breakfast. The waitresses know us and escort us to a booth where they hook me up to an IV of coffee. After a few hours there, we move on to Starbucks and later to a restaurant for supper. When we get home, I’m so wired from the caffeine that I’m on a buzz into the wee hours of the morning.
That sounds like fun! You have two stories coming out within ten days of each other—TUMBLEWEED LETTERS and MONA LISA’S ROOM. Congrats and holy cow! Can you tell us about the setting of these two stories?
TUMBLEWEED LETTERS is set in 1879 in Deadwood,
Dakota Territory and is part of the Love Letters series
at The Wild Rose Press. These are short historical reads (25,000 words max)
where a letter must arrive within the first 3 pages heralding change for the
MONA LISA’S ROOM is book one of a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy and is set in
Paris with a
side-trip to a seaside community along the .
Each book in the series has its own romantic couple, yet the same band of
terrorists—The Red Hand—wreaks havoc through all three. Normandy Coast
Both stories sound wonderful. Like traveling without leaving your sofa! What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
A few years ago, my thyroid went haywire, and I had to have it destroyed by radiation. As the levels of thyroid hormone slowly decreased, my body went through many changes: loss of hair, weight gain, muscle cramps in my feet, facial splotches and extreme coldness. Oh, and mood swings. Let’s not forget the awful mood swings. I was having a particularly bad day and Calvin put me to bed between layers of electric blankets and left the house. He returned with a dozen red roses in one hand and a bag of crème-filled donuts in the other. Here I was—in a double layer of sweats, thinning hair standing on end, ugly splotches on my face and puffy eyes from the “pity me crying jag”—and my sweetheart of a man extended this romantic overture. Ladies, that’s a hero.
I agree! Sounds like you found yourself a hero!
How about sharing a blurb and excerpt from each of these stories so our readers can get a “taste” of them.
TUMBLEWEED LETTERS, BLURB
When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer's spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?
Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora's brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.
Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?
Cam McBride fought to keep his horse under control. “Steady, now. Steady, Samson.” He reined the chestnut to the left away from the rolling tumbleweed. “Just another wind witch.” Leaning forward, he patted his mount’s neck. Leather creaked, and Samson snorted. “I know those tumbleweeds spook you.”
Eli turned slightly in front of him, and
automatically went to the child’s waist for support. “Drink, Daddy.” His son
pointed to the roaring creek beyond the golden, swaying Aspens.
“Okay. Drink.” He dismounted and lifted his two-year old from his perch behind the saddlehorn. “Stay, now. Don’t go running off.”
“Stay,” Eli repeated with a nod, his wheat-colored hair fluttering in the breeze.
“No, Daddy, drink.” Eli pointed to the creek and did his I-want-what-I-want jig, kicking up a little dust in the process. “Cold drink.” He crossed his little arms and stuck out his lower lip.
They’d been riding the range since sun-up, slowly herding his small drove of cattle to lower ground in preparation for winter. No doubt the cranky boy needed a nap. “Okay, you get your way. I’m too tired to argue.” He stepped into the high grass along the bank, squatted and leaned forward, extending the tin cup to catch fresh water gurgling over a mound of rocks in the stream.
Cam leaned back on his hunkers. “Here’s your drink.”
Eli trotted over and grabbed the offered cup. “Dank-you,” he chirped in a sing-song voice.
“You’re welcome, Son.” He ruffled the boy’s curls and listened to the child’s gulping and breathing echo within the metal cup. His Amanda would be pleased he was teaching her son manners. She’d always set great store by them, growing up in the South the way she had. No doubt his beloved was smiling from heaven at his awkward attempts to raise their boy alone.
The offending tumbleweed that spooked Samson moments earlier snagged his attention. A sliver of color dangled within it. He took his son’s hand and walked him away from the stream toward the tumbleweed caught between a couple scrub pines.
He stooped to untangle a piece of blue calico. Maybe Eli would enjoy playing with it. As he untied the knotted material, paper crackled. What’s this?
“To the four winds, I hate it here. I miss
. I miss my
home with my things about me. I miss my students and my husband, hooligan that
he was. My friends told me nothing good would come from marrying him, but love
only sees what it wants. Now I am alone, on the run and without funds. I barely
earn my keep. I have no hope of happiness and no one to talk to, except you—the
four winds.” Pennsylvania
“Mine.” Eli held out the blue strip of fabric so it fluttered in the breeze.
“That’s right, son.”
Cam turned the scrap of newspaper over
in hopes of reading more. Nothing, but an ad for winter coats at Munter and
Lillanthal’s in Deadwood. The paper’s name, Black
Hills Pioneer, was printed in the corner. No more handwriting and no signature. So a lonely, unhappy woman
wrote a note to nobody and secreted it within the folds of fabric and tied it
to a tumbleweed? He ran a hand across the back of his neck. If that wasn’t the
Purchase Links for TUMBLEWEED LETTERS
The Wild Rose Press
MONA LISA’S ROOM, BLURB
You won't believe this email. I'm sitting in a French safe house, eating caviar and drinking champagne with a handsome government agent, Niko Reynard. He's wearing nothing but silk pajama bottoms and mega doses of sex appeal. I'm in big trouble, little sister. He's kissed me several times and given me a foot massage that nearly caused spontaneous combustion. I'm feeling strangely virginal compared to the sexual prowess this thirty-year-old man exudes.
When I came to
for a bit of adventure, I never imagined I'd foil a bombing attempt,
karate-kick two men, and run from terrorists while wearing a new pair of
stilettos. I've met a German musician, a gay poet from Paris , and
the most delightful older French woman. Australia
Don't worry. I'm safe—the jury's still out on yummy Niko, though. The more champagne I drink, the less reserved I feel. What an unforgettable fortieth birthday!
Niko perched on the stool at Alyson’s feet, opened the first box and deftly flicked back the tissue paper on a pair of black kidskin pumps with skinny gold looking heels. “It’s rumored Da Vinci invented the high heel.” He removed her flip-flops and placed her bare foot on his thigh. Warmth from his muscled leg flowed up hers, causing her foot to give an involuntary wiggle.
His gaze lifted to hers and locked. Slowly he slid his hand from her heel up her leg to cup her calf. Thank God she shaved her legs that morning. “Stop.” The rawness of her voice surprised her. His touch made her very aware of her body, and her body was very aware of him. She couldn’t count the years since she was touched in such a manner—if ever.
Still, it was nice to know she could respond to a man’s touch. Thanks to her ex-husband’s avoidance, she thought herself sexually dead, certainly sexually unappealing.
“High heels do wonders for a woman’s figure, Aly. They make the legs look long and shapely, lift the bottom and make the hips sway.” His hands moved in a descriptive manner while he talked. “They make a woman look sexy and confident. Men’s eyes naturally pivot to a woman in stilettos.” Niko shrugged. “We can’t help it. We are men, after all. Weakened by women.”
Alyson stared at him. Men made weak by women? She’d never heard such talk, especially from a male, a very virile male if looks meant anything. He was gorgeous, arrogant as all get out, but gorgeous just the same.
Niko slipped the shoes onto her feet, stood and extended his hand. “Stand. See how you like the feel.” His gaze focused on hers again and for a second or two, when she looked into his eyes, her world stopped.
She vetoed the four-inch stilettos Niko favored in five painful, toe-pinching steps. Good Lord, a girl could get nosebleeds in those things.
Ten minutes later, Alyson wobbled in front of the cashier ready to pay for the black kidskin three-inch Pradas she wore. As soon as she saw the bow at the back of the heel, she fell in love with the shoes. Gwen called her a “bow freak.” When Niko reached for his wallet, she elbowed him. “Look, as long as they take Visa, I’ll pay for my own shoes.”
“Please, allow me.”
“Absolutely not. I planned on having an expensive birthday meal at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant tomorrow. With all that’s happened today, that plan is ruined, too. So I’m rationalizing since I won’t be paying for my birthday meal, I can pay this ungodly amount for the shoes.”
Niko placed his hand over hers. “I don’t mind. Let me treat you since I goaded you into buying them.”
“Really, that’s not necessary. Even my husband…er…ex-husband never bought me things. I’ve always paid my own way.”
He leaned an elbow on the glass counter and looked at her. “You’re kidding me. He never bought you little surprises? Little treats? A woman like you should be spoiled, treasured—” his voice lowered as he slowly trailed a finger up her arm “—loved often and well.” Merciful heavens, he was trying to seduce her in a shoe store. Gwen would squeal in delight when she told her about this.
“Down, buster. American women are different than French women. We’re not so easily seduced by glib words or smooth moves.”
His eyebrow arched and his demeanor turned insolent. “You think I’m trying to seduce you?”
Typical male. He touched her almost nonstop since they stepped into Minelli’s. Now that she called him on it, he wanted to deny everything. “I think you’re toying with me, seeing if you can make an old, lonely American woman quiver at your feet.”
“First of all, you’re not old. Second, if you’re lonely, that’s your fault. Third, if I wanted to make you quiver—” he leaned in, his lips against her ear “—I damn well could.”
Purchase MONA LISA'S ROOM HERE:
FIND VONNIE ONLINE AT http://www.vonniedavis.com
BLOGGING AT http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com