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!
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!