Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome Guest Maria Geraci – Author of the New Release Bunco Babes Gone Wild!

maria_book_wild You have no idea how excited I am to introduce our guest author today. Maria Geraci’s first book, Bunco Babes Tell All was my absolute favorite Summer 2009 read! So good, I actually read it twice in one month. Seriously. It’s the kind of book I hope for every time I crack open a new book.

Maria is not only an insanely talented writer, but a very nice lady and that’s why it’s such a pleasure to have her at Cheeky Reads today. In fact, she’s so nice she’s giving away a copy of of Bunco Babes Gone Wild to a lucky reader! Just make sure to leave a comment and you’re entered to win!

Now, please welcome Maria to Cheeky Reads!

Hi Maria,

Bunco Babes Tell All was your first book -- check out the 5 Heart Review from Cheeky Reads here. Please tell our readers a little about that book and it's characters and set-up your newest release, Bunco Babes Gone Wild.

First, let me thank you for allowing me to be a guest today on your blog! I love talking about my books, so this was a lot of fun for me.

Bunco Babes Tell All is the story of Kitty Burke and her tightly knit group, the Bunco Babes. Every Thursday night, they drink margaritas, roll dice, and gossip about the people in their small north Florida town. Kitty is the only Babe who’s not married. It’s been tough for her to find a guy- but all that changes on the eve before her 35th birthday when a mysterious stranger crashes her Bunco party to unclog her toilet. Luckily for Kitty, it’s not the only thing he “unclogs.” Basically, it’s a fun, quirky, sexy women’s fiction novel (how’s that for adjectives?)

The follow up book, Bunco Babes Gone Wild, picks up a few months after BBTA ends. All the main characters from the first book are present, but there’s a new heroine- Georgia Meyer. She’s what I like to call the “anti-Babe”. Unlike Kitty, the heroine from the first novel, Georgia isn’t a girl’s kind of girl. She’s a workaholic accountant who’s never really made time for the simple pleasures of life. She comes to visit her sister in Whispering Bay, Florida, and immediately becomes embroiled in the Babes’ antics. Plus, there’s this hunky guy who makes her rethink her current love life…

You have your own Bunco group that helped inspire you to create these stories. Are your characters modeled after your friends? If so, how do they take seeing their personality traits played out in your books?

My own Bunco group, the Bunco Broads of Tallahassee, helped inspire the friendship angle of the books. But the characters aren’t based on anyone in particular. It’s funny, my friends will point to a character and say, “Is that me?” I always answer, no! 

Like most readers I'm all about connecting with the hero and heroine in a book. So, I always ask authors to describe their hero in three words.

For Steve I’d have to say: cautious, reliable, mysterious.

For Dave (the hero in BBGW): funny, loyal, easy-going (uh, oh, is that four words?)

What about your heroine? What three words would best describe her?

Kitty is loyal, self-conscious, vulnerable.

Georgia is smart, driven, but clueless. 

What was it about their story that you drew you to them or made it fun to create their HEA? I loved them so I have to ask!

Kitty is an “every woman” kind of character. In my book, Steve refers to her as “the nice one.” I think that there are a lot of “Kittys” out there. Women who are pretty, smart, nice, but maybe a little (or a lot) self-conscious about their looks, their jobs, their own sense of self-worth. Initially, I wasn’t sure what sort of ending I was going to give her. Since this is women’s fiction, I knew I’d give her a HEA, but not necessarily because she’d found a man. After I wrote the shower scene between her and Steve, I knew I wanted to give her a HEA plus a man! And you know, Steve wasn’t a pushover. Any guy who’s been married and divorced 3 times is going to come into a relationship with a lot of baggage, so I had to make her work for it. 

What has been your favorite Bunco Babes scene to write so far and why?

The Black Tie Bunco party scene in Bunco Babes Gone Wild has so far been my favorite to write. Partly because there’s a lot going on. There’s action, romance, a little drama, and hopefully a lot of laughs. But also because once I wrote that scene the rest of the book seemed to just fly for me. 

Does Bunco Babes Gone Wild give us an update of Kitty and Steve from Bunco Babes Tell all? 

Kitty and Steve are secondary characters in BBGW and while I loved writing them, I had to be careful not to give them too much to do in the story, otherwise I was afraid they’d take it over!  I’ll be honest, I’m not really through with Kitty and Steve. I would love to write a direct sequel to their story, but so far, that’s not in the works. Maybe I’ll write it up as a short story and put it on my website as a free read. Mmmm… now that’s an idea.

Everyone I've spoken to about Bunco Babes Gone Wild loved it! How does it feel as a new author, to have that kind of excitement over your work? Any fun reader/fan stories you can share with us?

Having someone write to me or tell me they enjoy my stories is like being a kid and waking up Christmas morning! It’s like the best feeling in the world.

I had a reader write to me whose husband was in the military and they went through long separations. She told me reading my book has rekindled her feelings of love (and lust!) for her husband. I felt so touched that she’d take the time out of her busy life to write me. 

Read any good books lately that you would recommend to our readers? Authors always seem to have the inside track on great new authors!

I’m an avid reader of all things, but of course, I love romance! Can’t Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards is a fantastic read. For a fun, campy, spooky YA try: Bite Me! by Melissa Francis. Now, in all fairness, both Mel and Louisa are my critique partners, but I wouldn’t be critiquing their work if I didn’t love what they write. I recently finished According to Jane by Marilyn Brant and I can’t recommend that highly enough. I also love historical romance. Anything by Madeline Hunter is on my immediate buy list. She has a new series coming out in January and I’m practically drooling just thinking about it. She writes the best heroes. Ever.

Where can readers find you next and is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I’m going to be doing some local book signings in both Florida and south Georgia to promote the new book, and I’m really looking forward to that. In between and afterward, you can find me glued to my computer! I have a late January deadline for my next book so I’ll be hard at work getting that finished. Right now, that book is tentatively titled The Boyfriend of the Month Club. It’s a not a Bunco Babes book, but I think it’s just as fun and sexy and quirky. At least I hope my readers think so!

Maria, thank you so much for the great interview and for being with us today!

So, Cheeky Readers what questions do you have for Maria? Have you ever played Bunco? What’s book have you read recently that you would recommend? Let us know and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Bunco Babes Gone Wild!

Special Bonus: Tweet or blog about this giveaway and you’ll get an extra entry! Just mention it in the comments with a link.

Sorry, this contest is open to US residents only. Winner will be announced on Thursday Nov. 5th. Good Luck and Happy Reading!


  1. Can't wait to get the book tomorrow...:)

  2. I can't wait to get my hands on BBGW! Maria - keep 'em coming!

    Heather Stroh

  3. Like Heather, I can't wait to read BBGW! But I thought the Bunco books were going to be a trilogy - why the change for the third book Maria?

  4. Hi Brigette, thanks for stopping by:)
    Heather! So nice of you to stop by too. Hope to see you soon!

  5. Ah, Erin. That's a marketing decision. Apparently Berkley thought 2 Bunco Books were enough. I'm hoping that one day I'll have a chance to write some more;) For now, though, I have to say I'm really lovin' my new book. It's a 2 hero romance and I can't wait to see which one my heroine picks!

  6. tweeted your giveaway! looking forward to reading!

  7. Sounds great! I can't wait to read it. Congrats on the release!

    Oh, and I tweeted about the giveaway @kellie_lynn.

  8. Thanks, Robin and Kellie Lynn!

  9. Hi everyone! Wow, you ladies were up early today. I checked my mail while brushing my teeth and you were already posting. Love it!

    Thanks for being here with us today Maria!

    I have a new mission - we need to make Bunco Babes Gone Wild fly off the shelves so your publisher will have to ask for a third Bunco Babes book!

  10. Oh I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this book! I love "meeting" new authors through their characters, and am seriously looking forward to meeting Maria!

    Amy S.
    (Tweeted the contest - AmyAnneS)

  11. Hey Maria,
    I cannot wait to read BBGW! I am positive it will be just as good (possibly even better) than the first!
    Julie Drude

  12. I can't wait to read BBGW it sounds amazing.

    Retweeted @cait045

  13. Hi to Cheeky Girl!! Thanks for the great interview ;).

    Maria, you know how much I loved your first book. I'm so excited to read this sequel! (And a copy is already on it's way to me, so there's no need enter me in the drawing...) And squee!! Thank you for including my book in your list of good reads! Louisa and Mel aren't my critique partners, but I'd definitely agree that their new novels are awesome :).

  14. I'm a Bunco pal of Maria's and I'd like to say that all of the sexy scenes are direct transcripts of personal descriptions made by me while throwing the dice. (just kidding!) ;)

    We're having bunco at Maria's house tonight!

  15. I just loved your 1st book. I used to play Bunco all the time back in New Jersey. It's a fun game. I would love to win this book also to see what happens next. If I don't, I will definitely be buying it. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  16. I was given the wonderful chance to review Bunco Babes Tell All and I loved it! It was such a fun read. I have never heard of Bunco before, but I am inspired to start my own group!

    I tweeted

    Elie (Ellz Readz)

  17. Maria, would you recommend reading Bunco Babes Tell All first? Bunco Babes and According to Jane are both books I want to get my hands on.

  18. Rain, I think the characters will have more "punch" if you read the first book, but BBGW is a stand alone book and it can be read out of order and still make sense:)

    Thanks for your kind words, Ellie! And thanks for tweeting. I'm a little new to the Twitter thing but I'm fast becoming aware of the power of the Tweet!

    Sharon, A fellow Bunco Babe! So glad you liked the first book. I really think fans of BBTA will enjoy the 2nd book just as much;)

    Hi Julie and Cait and Amy! I appreciate you all stopping by. This interview was a lot of fun!

    And Roseanne, the sex scenes are all you, darling!

  19. Hi Maria. Great interview. Your book sounds so good.


  20. A bunch of us all firefighter's wives used to play but after the wine, well let's just say, things took a down hill turn.

  21. I've never played Bunco but it sounds like fun.

  22. I've always wanted to play Bunco, but haven't had the chance... must get my friends together ;)
    How many more Bunco Babes books are you planning?

    Thanks for the book recommendations... I've wanted to read the one by Louisa Edwards... and have recently bought According to Jane.
    Last great book I read was Sounds To Die By by Nikki Duncan. It's a romantic suspense that I'd definitely recommend :) It had the perfect amount of romance and suspense for me.

    Maria, I stopped by your site, but didn't see a link for a newsletter... do you currently have one? :)

  23. Nice interview. I've never played Bunco before, but I'd like to learn how. This book sounds really good. Love to read it.


  24. Ali, if you go to my contact page there's a link to sign up for my newsletter:) Thanks for asking!

    Marilyn, I know what you mean about the wine! When my group plays, we have so much fun just catching up with each other, we sometimes forget to play!

    Crystal and Anita, thanks for stopping by!

    And Overworked Mom, can I steal your username??

  25. Maria,

    This has been on my wishlist since I found out about it a month or so ago. Can't wait to get the chance to pick it up and read it! I'll be on the lookout for more info on your upcoming book as well :D.

    I posted to my facebook:

    Warm Wishes,
    Pam S

  26. I've never had the chance to play Bunco before, but I think I'd enjoy reading your book. :)

  27. Thanks for dropping by, Julie and Pam. Best of luck to everyone who stopped to comment. I wish I could send you all a free book!

  28. This is such a wonderful book! I love that I was lucky enough to read this book before publication. It is really one of the most well written, charming and funny stories! Dave is to die for hot. Yummmm.

  29. I'll have to look for these books! It's been years since I've played bunco. I miss the girlfriend time :)



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