Cover and title really drew me in to this story, and I’m happy they did!
What Was I Thinking (Rivers Bend Trilogy Book 3) by Donna Simonetta released a couple of week ago in the Contemporary Romance genre.
A wild Vegas fling isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.
Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he’s ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.
But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.
She felt him stiffen up behind her, and Jason’s tone of voice was defensive. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. “I know you do; I didn’t mean anything by it. We poke at each other”––she shrugged––“it’s kind of our thing.”
His grip on her hand loosened, and then he took control of the dance, by twirling her until her back was pressed to his front, and he began to move sinuously in time to the rhythm. His breath tickled her ear, as he spoke right in it to be heard over the music. “We’ve got a thing, Moonbeam?”
Jason had ditched the tie and suit jacket after the wedding, and his body heat scorched her through his crisp white dress shirt. And man-oh-Maneschewitz, his lean, hard body felt good. Really good. The Marine might be bulked up, but Jason’s body felt like it had been made for hers, which given their mutual antagonism, seemed like proof Fate was enjoying a good laugh at her expense. Against Lily’s better judgment, her body melted into his warmth and began to move with his.
“Sure we’ve got a thing,” she said over her shoulder, and was irritated to hear a trace of breathlessness in her voice. She cleared her throat and continued, “Like that––you calling me Moonbeam, because you know it bugs me.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read––contemporary romances to help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, she decided to leave the library and become a full-time author.
Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
Hi Donna, and thank you for being with us today!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a romance with a paranormal twist. The main character lives and works in a house in Richmond, VA, with a decidedly unpleasant roommate––a nasty, nineteenth-century spirit. Luckily, her new neighbors are brothers who do paranormal investigation. I’m really excited about it, and am polishing up the manuscript before I start submitting it. While one of the brothers gets his happy-ever-after in this story, I have an idea for a second book revolving around his brother. I also am mulling over a spinoff book from my Rivers Bend trilogy. It would feature Roni and Chase, who were secondary characters in the Rivers Bend books, but would take center-stage in this story, which would be set in my current hometown of Baltimore, MD.
Do you have a day job? / What was your job before you started writing full time?
I currently do not have a day job. When my second book was released, I decided to quit my day job to give full-time writing a go. Before that I’d worked in the library of a boys’ middle school for seventeen years. Trust me, going from being with three-hundred boys all day, to working alone in my house was an adjustment. It’s so quiet. It actually has been more of an adjustment than I thought it would. Writing is a very solitary business, which being a hermit, I thought I would love! But, it’s a little lonely, so I started volunteering at a local animal shelter.
How do you keep from resenting your duties when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
I don’t know that I do. Ha! I hate it when the writing is really flowing, and I have to stop to clean a bathroom, or go to the grocery store. It helps cut down on distractions that my husband works outside of the home, but he was home recuperating from surgery last summer, and I found it very difficult to write while he was with me. It made it much more tempting to set aside the laptop and see what he was doing. I guess what I’m saying is, there is a constant push-and-pull between my writing life and the rest of my life.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
They are all super-supportive and proud of me being a writer. I come from a family who all love books and reading, and most of my friends do too, so everyone has encouraged me from the moment I said I was trying to write a book.
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer
There have been a couple. One is the amount of time I need to spend on marketing and promotion. I had very unrealistic expectations about it when my first book was published. I thought once I’d sent the final version to the publisher, my work was done. Instead, in a lot of ways, it was just beginning. The other big surprise for me was the support and friendship I found in other members of the writing community. My publisher, the Wild Rose Press, really fosters relationships between their authors. We all join together to help one another with biggest surprise number one––promotion and marketing. But, we also can commiserate and help with the writing process. It’s been wonderful, and some of the friends I’ve made are very dear to my heart.
What does your writing space look like?
It’s funny. I started out writing in my living room. After my second book was published, I decided to quit my day job and write full-time. When I did that, I cleaned out a room in our house that had become a junk room, and set it up as my office. I was so excited to have a designated writing space; it made me feel more ‘official’. However, my writing ground to a halt. I’d sit in my nice, new office and…nothing. Zip. Nada. I moved back to the living room, and the words started to flow again. Unfortunately, the clutter is encroaching on the office space again, like vines taking over the trees in the forest, and I’m back in the spot in my living room that my husband refers to as my “Command Center”.
Pen or computer?
I use a combination of the two. I love opening a fresh, new notebook and a writing in it with a gel pen with lovely colored ink. The gel pens really flow across the page when I write; it’s very satisfying. I do all my initial plotting and character/setting development that way. But the actually writing of the story, I do on my laptop. I used to write it out longhand and then type it up, but that got too time-consuming after I was published. I’m always working on three projects at once, in various stages, and I don’t really have the luxury of the time to write the way I used to.
Music or silence?
I like sound in the background. I find total silence to be unsettling and distracting. Sometimes I play music, and sometimes I have the television on low in the background. I don’t pay attention to the program, but I do like the noise. Must be all those years working in the raucous environment of the middle school.
Alone or in public?
I write alone in my home. I’ve never tried to write in public. A more extroverted friend, who doesn’t understand how I can stand to be alone so much, once suggested I take my laptop to a coffee shop and write there. I know a lot of writers do work that way, but it’s not for me. Like I said before, I don’t like silence, but the energy and disruption of all those other people wouldn’t do it for me as a writer either. I’m very finicky, I guess. Haha!
Why did you choose the shirt you have on?
Because it’s red and today is a cloudy, gloomy day. My mother-in-law, who was the most positive person I’ve ever known, always wore red on a dreary day to make it a little brighter. And I’ve carried on the practice for her, now that she’s no longer with us.
First thought when the alarm goes off in the in the morning?
I don’t think you’d be able to print the words. Ha! Although, this morning, it was so dark and I was in such a deep sleep that I thought “Huh. The alarm is malfunctioning and going off in the middle of the night. I wonder what’s up?”
Do you miss being a child?
No. I think a lot of people romanticize childhood. I remember a lot of unkindness and loneliness. Which makes it sound more miserable than it probably was, but I was never a popular kid, being a chubby bookworm, who started wearing eyeglasses in second grade. I had a few good friends, and we had fun together, but I have no desire to go back in time to childhood.
What errand/chore do you despise the most?
I hate dusting. I guess because I have a lot of books and knick-knacks, which all need to be moved and dusted. Laundry is actually my favorite chore. I can throw in a load, and go do something else.
Is marriage outdated?
I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s necessary, or even the right choice for everyone, but for me, it’s brought a lot to my life. Having a partner in good times and in bad. Someone who always has my back. Someone with whom I stood in front of all our assembled loved ones, and pledged to do those things. It’s very meaningful and spiritual to me, to have had that ceremony. And my happy marriage is the thing I’m most proud of in my life.
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