Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

As part of the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, I was tagged by Cheri Crystal, newly minted British subject and author of many sizzling sexytime stories. Check her work out at

This is week 22 of the Next Big Thing, created to introduce you to writers whose work you might not be aware of. If you’re unfamiliar with my work and want to change your status, dash right over to

What is the working title of your book?

The Crush

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I have a huge crush on all things Italian. While traveling in Tuscany this past year, I decided I had to conceive of a story about the area just to allow my obsession to have an outlet. One of the great things about writing is that you can get away with being a lunatic if you can couch your whackiness as research.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a romance. It’s an “Us against the world” kinda story rather than a “Will they or won’t they” story.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t generally think of real humans when I’m imbuing a character with life. Sometimes I’ll find a picture of a woman and think she looks like the person I’m trying to portray, but even then my characters usually part ways with that reality as they take on their own personas. That’s a drawn out way to say I can’t think of anyone <s>.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Two years in Tuscany--trapped in paradise.

What is the longer synopsis of your book?

Nicola Bagnolesi is a died-in-the-wool Chicagoan. Good job, good girlfriend, good life, no complaints. She’s called on to make a huge sacrifice--move to Italy for at least two years to manage a family-owned winery. Nic knows nothing about wine, running a business, or Italy, and she’s not enthusiastic about learning. But she takes one for the team and heads to a tiny village south of Siena to simply keep watch over the property until a permanent manager can relieve her.

Chiara Bellini is as rooted in Tuscany as an olive tree. She’s passionate about her home, her family, and her calling--to make the best wine nature will allow.

Eventually, Nic and Chiara come together--to craft a wine and a relationship that can stand the test of time.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book will be published by Brisk Press in 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

First drafts are pretty easy for me. This one took around a month. It’s the second and third drafts that take time. I usually write the first draft, let it sit for a few months, then come back to it. I’ve just finished my third draft, and will soon send it away for editing.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’m fascinated by “fish out of water” tales. It interests me to see how resilient, flexible and creative people can be when they’re forced to be. Nic is a happy person in Chicago, but she’s never been tested in any real way. Moving to a new country is a huge challenge for her, and I love to see her growth.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Chiara is from Siena, one of my favorite Italian cities. She’s very involved in her neighborhood, or contrada, and we get to tag along with her as she and her fellow Ondaioli prepare for the Palio, the big horse race held twice each summer in Siena. We also get to virtually drink a lot of good wine. Also, I don’t want to oversell, but I think the sexual chemistry between Nic and Chiara is kinda awesome.

Next Wednesday check out the Next Big Thing from Beth Wylde I love how dedicated Beth is to both her work and helping other writers get noticed. Her stories are generally short in terms of words, but long on spice and sexiness. 

If you’re a fellow writer and would like to participate in this Blog Hop, reach out to Beth and let her know. The more the merrier!