A girl's gotta have fun, right?
When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in her kids' school garden (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.
Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Dianne! I'm so excited to have you here to chat today and I'm really looking forward to reading your book.
BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
Originally from Miami (setting for Lust on the Rocks), I was a more tomboy than girly-girl but of course, growing up with brothers will do that to a gal, but I think the rough and tumble spirit is simply part of my makeup. College brought young marriage, quick divorce—neither of which dampened my dreams for HEA.
But finding the perfect mate is tough business. I mean, does that creature even exist? It’s the topic of my debut novel and first in this series, JENNIFER’S GARDEN. Women have become very successful and independent, you know, changing the rules at every turn. Traveling far and wide, seeking new and exciting horizons, our lives have become quite exciting in and of our own right! Why, it can prove downright difficult to find an equally and compelling man under these circumstances!
But we do strive. HEA is what dreams are made of and I wanted a slice of it for myself. Now granted handsome, smart and successful didn't work so well for me the first time I dabbled in marriage but I didn't want to give up. Like everyone else, I wanted it all. I had kids on my horizon (already named my daughter!) and I wanted to be whisked away by tall, dark and handsome, darn it.
Luckily I found him. Picked him up in a bar (though I can blame the entire thing on a match-making friend of mine—God bless her—because I was not even looking at the time!). But sometimes life happens that way. Grabs hold of you when you least expect it and throws you in an opposite direction, then back again, whips you around the block, yanks you to a stop only to kick you into high gear. I know, crazy but that’s livin’!
BK: Please tell us a little about your book....
Sam is a feisty lady lawyer with a lifestyle steeped in personal freedom and independence. While family is important to her, she has decided to remain childless and husband-free. Until Vic Marin arrives on scene, that is. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions--one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part. Until he walks away.
There is a sub-plot in the novel involving Sam's younger sister Jessica that pulls Sam and Vic into conflict regarding personal choices and decisions, ones that reach into their relationship and force Sam to re-evaluate what she thought she wanted from life and what she may desire instead. Lust or love? It's time for Sam to choose.
She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.
# # #
One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...
Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.
Until Vic walks away.
BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
Women today are every bit as independent and successful as men and should live their life as they see fit. I’ve always believed “nurture” played a big role in how men and women act and react as opposed to “nature.” However, as I grow older I realize there are inherent differences between men and women, differences that cannot be ignored or discarded.
But looking around society, I see a major conflict in this arena for woman. Fair or not, how we conduct our sexual lives has to be different than men. From how we approach sex to how we react to it cannot be measured in the same terms. Remember, only one of us runs the risk of becoming pregnant—a risk with long-lasting consequences.
BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Really during the process of writing my first novel, I considered myself a “writer” but not an “author,” because no one was reading my books but my friends. It wasn’t until I was well into the second or third book that in the course of sharing my stories with NY editors and agents I realized, “Hey, I am an author!” I mean, when they say you have talent, it’s not like your mother telling you—they mean it! (Not to mention they know a thing or two about the craft…)
And certainly once readers discover my books and find they enjoy them, well that’s the cream on the pie. No better feeling as a writer than knowing you’ve entertained someone with your novel. I love it. I never tire of it. And as a reader, I have even more appreciation for the job I do, because I SO love to lose myself in a good story.
BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
Easy—write with a huge poster board behind me loaded with color-coded post-it notes to keep me on track! Pink is for romance, blue is for subplot, purple is for turning points, orange is for emotional motivation, yellow is for scene shifts, etc. Of course these colors change, depending on my mood—except for pink. Pink always means love!
BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?
Not so much “writer’s block” as sometimes “I’m not happy with my storyline.” For example, at the moment, I’m bored with my hero and heroine and want to move to the hot action quicker. But can I? Will it work within the framework of my story?
Maybe it just needs a bit more conflict. Juicy conflict, the kind I can sink my teeth into and simmer these two in for a little excitement. Ho-hum, I dunno. Still working it out…
BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?
Mood music is about as quirky as I get, other than talking to myself. Or joking with my husband about research material. I like to have water, too. Keeps my brain cells hydrated.
The unintended consequence? Frequent trips to the rest room remind me the laundry is ready to be folded, the beans on the stove are about to burn, the patio herbs need watering…
Oh, mercy—the trials a woman must go through!
BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
My greatest hope is to find homes for my books in the hearts of readers. While most of my writing is considered light, fun, sexy and quick—quick as in speed read, not quickie fulfillment!—I’d like to think there are those who will look forward to my books because they offer some manner of fulfillment.
A few books on my horizon will actually veer more toward WF without the romance, but they are stories I feel compelled to write and thus, HAVE to write.
BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
A smile, an escape, a second-thought, even a bounce to their step. While parts of my stories may make you cry, the endings will always leave you on a high note. I CANNOT be responsible for anyone losing sleep (unless of course it’s due to fantasy dreaming and then, by all means, I’m your culprit!)
BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?
When brilliance strikes, write it down. Now I actually started this practice before reading these sage words of advice from the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, ROOTS, but it was nice to know I wasn’t crazy for doing so. I swear lack of memory is a by-product of having children!
I have notes going everywhere—in the car, by my bed, on my cell phone (now that I’m technically advanced) and practically in the shower! But one never knows when creativity will strike and must be duly prepared.
BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
I would write the book of your heart. Write the characters you cannot forget, the theme that persists even when you dream… Don’t write to the market. Don’t try and become the next latest and greatest. Follow your heart, your passion and the rest will follow YOU.
BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?
You bet! In addition to the WF story I previously mentioned, I’m currently writing the third in this series after LUST ON THE ROCKS. You know, the one where my H/H are boring me?
Yes, that’s the one. Ultimately it will be steamy and delicious in a subtle we’re-not-actually-doing-anything-but-feel-like-we-are kind of way—but I have to get them there first! ARGH—I’m ready for those scenes NOW.
BK: Where can readers find you?
My website is diannevenetta.com but you can also find me on facebook.com/diannevenetta and Twitter @DianneVenetta -- Goodreads and more!
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
Thanks so much for the opportunity—it was fun!
“It’s nice out here, isn’t it?”
The light breeze tossed hair into her face as she looked at him. “One of my favorite places to be.” The feel and sound of crashing waves reminded her of life’s ebb and flow, the powerful force of nature, the calming sense of continuity. Sam loved the ocean, from the deep dark depths to the slide of incoming tides across a shore littered with shells.
Vic kept his pace slow. Jean pant legs rolled up, he carried his loafers in one hand, allowing the other to occasionally bump with hers. “Why aren’t you tied down yet, Sam? Seems to me, a woman like you would have men lining up with proposals.”
She chuckled at his compliment. “I don’t want to be tied down.”
“Ever? You mean to tell me you never met a guy who did it for you?”
“Did it for me?” she repeated, amused by his choice of words. But she knew what he meant and relaxed into a laugh. “I’ve met a lot of men who have done it for me, as you so neatly put, but I choose to be single.”
“Why? Someone hurt you?”
“No.” Other than my family. Being forced to care for five little kids when you were scarcely one yourself wasn’t so great. But life did that to you. It put you in situations and forced you to deal—which she did. But that was behind her now and she didn’t intend to go back. Ever.
“You don’t want kids? Is that it?”
“Let’s say I had an overexposure at a young age, caring for my brothers and sisters and I’m cleansed of any desire to have my own. What about you?”
“What about me.”
“Siblings, nieces, nephews...”
“None,” he said, and Sam almost tripped over the soft quality of his voice.
“Must be strange.” When he didn’t reply, she said, “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right.”
He looked at her and said, “Don’t worry about it. No big deal.”
But the vulnerability in his eyes unraveled her heart. Had he been hurt? Was that the reason behind his distinct change in demeanor, the wall that slid between them?
This was usually easy territory for a man. Unless there was a problem, rang the sentiment again. “Ever thought about marriage and kids for yourself?”
“I’m focused on my career, but later, when I’m ready to settle down...” The thought fell away. “Who knows?”
“They’re a lot of work,” Sam tried to make light, willing the ease to return.
“But the connection is worth it.”
She turned to him and he stopped. In the distance, the sound of partygoers blended with the thumping base of music drifting far and wide. Behind them, a large wave crashed. Racing up the shore, it submerged them ankle deep, then glided across the wide expanse of sand as it made its retreat to the ocean. Something changed. The hairs on the back of her neck stood amidst goose bumps prickling her flesh. Vic’s gaze cut through the gentle evening light as he touched her hair, ceasing its lash across her cheekbones. Her pulse quickened.
“I had a nice time.”
“Me, too,” she uttered, her breathing reduced to wisps.
“I’m glad we’re working together.”
She could only nod, suspended by what came next.
Dianne will be giving away a $25 Amazon OR Barnes & Noble Gift card to one lucky commenter from her tour. So be sure to leave a comment with your email address to gain an entry.