Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Maria Geraci - Author Guest Blog and Shout Out for her Books



Idgie Says: Small town mysteries and hunky men ready for romance.  Really, can it get any better?  Excerpts of all three books can be found on her author page- the link is in her bio below.  Additionally, she has a great guest post below! Previously, her 2012 Berkley release, A GIRL LIKE YOU, was featured at the Dew.
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The Joys of Small Town Romance

When I wrote my first published novel, Bunco Babes Tell All, I set it in my imaginary town of Whispering Bay, Florida, located somewhere between the real cities of Panama City Beach and Destin in the Florida panhandle. Small Florida beach towns are something I know well, since I grew up in one. I loved that little imaginary town of Whispering Bay so much that I decided to use it as the setting for a contemporary romance series that debuted this spring with the first novel, That Thing You Do.
Three books later, Whispering Bay has become almost real to me and to my readers. I think it has something to do with the universal appeal of small towns. There’s the fact that almost everyone knows everyone (or thinks they do), the small town festivals, the crazy politics, the local Piggly Wiggly (yes, there’s a Piggly Wiggly in Whispering Bay!), but most of all, it’s the quirky characters who make each small town unique and Whispering Bay has more than its share of those. I have my bumbling police officer (think a modern day Barney Fife), a group of feisty senior citizens who call themselves The Gray Flamingos, and last but not least, my Bunco Babes—suburban housewives who like to roll dice, drink frozen margaritas and who know everything that’s going on in Whispering Bay. Writing these characters is like going home in the best (and sometimes worst of ways!).
Here’s a snippet from book three in the Whispering Bay romance series, That Man of Mine, to show you what I mean.  Set up: The heroine, Mimi Grant is Whispering Bay’s new mayor and is recently separated from her husband, Zeke, the town’s chief of police.
She opened the door to The Bistro by the Beach. The entire place turned to stare at her. It had been less than twenty-four hours, and exactly as she’d predicted, all of Whispering Bay now knew about The Separation.
She’d had to turn off her cell phone this morning due to the influx of calls. But then she’d remembered that as mayor, she couldn’t really do that. What if the city needed her? What if Cameron or Claire got sick at school? So she’d turned her phone back on and screened her calls. Luckily, the city hadn’t needed her. Her mother, on the other hand, had needed her six times in less than two hours.
Frida Hampton, the Bistro’s owner and a good friend and fellow Bunco Babe was making a latte when she spied Mimi. She handed the latte to a waiting customer, then stepped out from behind the counter to give Mimi a hug. “What the hell! Why didn’t you tell us what was going on with you and Zeke?”
“I had planned to make an announcement at Bunco Thursday night, but I guess I’ve been pre-empted.”
“You okay?” Frida asked. She tucked an unruly auburn curl into the blue scarf bandana holding back her hair.
“Sure, I’m fine. Or as well as anyone could be now that half the town knows my business.”
“Not half the town. The whole town.” Frida smiled sympathetically. “You’re a politician now and people love a good story. Don’t you watch The Good Wife?”
“Yeah, but there’s no scandal here. No cheating, no prostitutes, no tampering with public funds. We’re just a regular couple who happen to be separated.”
“A regular couple?” Mimi heard someone say. It was Betty Jean Collins, a member of the Gray Flamingos, as well as the receptionist for The Whispering Bay Gazette, the newspaper Mimi’s sister-in-law Allie and local resident Roger Van Cleave had recently resurrected back to life.
 “Oh, hi, Betty Jean. Yep, Zeke and I are just a regular couple.”
“You’re the closest thing this town has to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. What I want to know is, who’s the Angelina Jolie in this story?”
“There is no Angelina Jolie.”
“There’s always an Angelina Jolie. Especially when there’s a good looking man involved. And honey, your man is just about the best looking thing this town has ever seen.”
Mimi didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe. After eighteen years of marriage, she’d gotten used to other women telling her how attractive they found her husband. Normally, she’d laugh it off, especially since this was Betty Jean and she was old enough to be Zeke’s grandmother. Unfortunately, today she wasn’t in a laughing mood.
“I promise you, there’s no Angelina Jolie.”
Betty Jean gave her a hard stare. “So the rumors about Cindy aren’t true?”
“Cindy? You mean, Cindy who works at the police department?”
“Special friendships among co-workers are the number one cause of divorce. I read that in Redbook.” Betty Jean frowned. “Or one of those lady magazines.”
Special friendships, huh? Not that Cindy wasn’t attractive, but the thought of her and Zeke…well, it was just too ridiculous to give any serious attention. But that didn’t mean people weren’t still saying it.
“First of all, we’re not getting a divorce. And secondly, what kind of rumors have you heard?” Mimi asked cautiously.
The older woman waved a negligent hand through the air. “The usual. That they’re doing the hanky-panky.”
Mimi blinked. “Hanky panky?” She hadn’t heard that term since the second grade.
“You know,” Betty Jean clarified, not bothering to lower her voice. “The horizontal mamba. Stuffin’ the muffin. Slytherin’ her Hufflepuff. Good lord, woman! How much more explicit do I need to be?”
Thanks for hosting me today on Dew on the Kudzu! I hope you enjoyed this small preview of the Whispering Bay romance series. Look for more zany small town romance when book four, This Can’t Be Love comes out in December.
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Book Title: That Thing You Do
Series: Whispering Bay
Volume #: Book 1
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Category: Contemporary Romance
Sub Categories: Romantic Comedy

Book Description:

Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.

When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.

With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?

Book One, THAT THING YOU DO, was selected as a NOOK First title by Barnes and Noble, and opens with flat-broke freelance reporter Allie Grant chasing down a story in an allegedly haunted building that’s, “locked up tighter than the Spanx she’d worn on her last date.” When Allie finally breaks in, she runs into something scarier than the boogeyman in Carole Anne’s closet – her ex-boyfriend, Tom Donalan.  Not only has Tom turned into Captain America’s hotter twin brother in the years since high school, he’s in charge of the building’s imminent demolition. And, no building equals no story…which means no chance at a full-time dream job with Florida! Magazine for Allie.  

Book Title: Then He Kissed Me

Series: Whispering Bay
Volume #: Book 2
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Category: Contemporary Romance
Sub Categories: Romantic Comedy

Short Summary: Divorce√© and former Whispering Bay “It Girl,” Lauren Donalon is out to prove a point – that she can stand on her own two feet without anyone’s help. Even the help of her own trust fund. But, when she meets Whispering Bay’s new doctor, Nate Miller, her resolve to stay single and focused on her son and struggling retro clothing boutique is tested by a toe-curling kiss that shifts her entire world off its axis.

Book Title: That Man of Mine
Series: Whispering Bay
Volume #: Book 3
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Category: Contemporary Romance
Sub Categories: Romantic Comedy

Short Summary: Whispering Bay’s new mayor, Mimi Grant, is ready and raring to whip the town into shape. There’s just one hurdle. Her stubborn new employee and soon-to-be ex-husband, Zeke (a.k.a. the Chief of Police). The two are ready to call it quits after two decades and two kids. But, when forced to work closely together to solve a crime, their past electric attraction makes an unexpected reappearance – and burns and bright and hot as ever.

A fourth title is planned for December 2015.

Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. Her current addictions include watching the STARZ adaption of OUTLANDER to drool over Sam Heughan, hitting the beach on the weekends, and searching for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter). You can visit her website at www.mariageraci.com

URL of Facebook Page of Author: https://www.facebook.com/MariaGeraciBooks
Twitter handle: @MariaGeraci