Posted by Babs Mountjoy
They walked through the shadows individually. Will they emerge into the light together?
Leading a vagabond life as a curator for a traveling photography exhibit translates to a lot of bad days for Rikki Salerno. But her trouble doubles when a careless high school student shoves her into a marsh. Being rescued by teacher Sam Kerrigan should have made things better, but Rikki’s inability to confess her true identity casts a shadow over their budding affair.
When Sam refuses an overly aggressive parent’s marriage proposal, she’s determined to ruin him. Not only does she doctor photos to make it look like Sam’s behaved inappropriately in front of students, she hacks the foundation website to reveal Rikki’s true identity. Faster than the blink of a shutter, Rikki’s focus changes from pursuing her full-color future to the black and white necessity of clearing Sam’s name.
Now let’s learn a little more about Gemma!
Thanks for being with us today.
Thanks for having me here today, Lyndi.
First, would you tell us about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?
This should be easier. I love to talk about myself, doesn’t everyone? I live in the Kansas City area, American’s midsection. I love the big city/small town vibe and the amount of green space here. Prior to moving here, my husband and I lived in London for a few years. That’s where I wrote my first novel. The story was great, the writing was crap! So that one remains on my laptop. I get it out and tinker occasionally. I love coffee and wine and reading. Hey – at least one of those addictions is not bad for you. I do have a degree in journalism, which has helped throughout my career, but I don’t think you have to have a writing related degree to write a great story. The grammar and punctuation and deep POV things you need to know can be learned.
Tell us about your most recent publication.
Exposed To Passion is the third book in the Five Senses series, but each book reads as a stand alone. The story centers around Sam Kerrigan and Rikki Salerno and deals with the sense of sight. Rikki is a photographer. I tossed in a high school girl who is being bullied, a grown-up mean girl and a little over-exposure of Sam and Rikki’s affair.
What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?
I knew when I started the series I wanted each book to represent not only a sense, but a social cause. This book deals with bullying behavior, which is beyond reprehensible. Not only have Sam and Rikki both dealt with bullies growing up, they are still dealing with it.
I did have to research photography and cameras and learned how to do astro-photography. Have you seen those pictures of the Milky Way? That’s what astro-photography is. I loved writing a scene that detailed it.
How would you best describe your books?
I’d call them sexy, sensual contemporary romances with heart.
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I recently made a foray into Science Fiction with my story, Mission: Mistletoe and I really loved it. But, I’m most comfortable writing contemporary romance. As far as reading, heck, give me the back of the cereal box. I’ll read anything.
What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?
Well, it sure wouldn’t be writing about financial products (which I’ve done). I’d love to write paranormal or urban fantasy, but I’m not sure I can suspend my own disbelief enough to make it believable.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I love to create the world with just words, to infuse emotion and passion into a world in order to make it three dimensional. When I quit a full time job I loved in order to be available when my teenaged children got home from school, I started considering writing. Then, after a transfer for my husband’s job took us overseas, I finally took the plunge.
What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?
I like the freedom of setting my own schedule, which is also what I don’t like about it. Because the schedule I set is usually 12 hour days, at least 5 days a week. That doesn’t include weekends.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
I am president of my local RWA chapter and I’m in a critique group, which is awesome.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
I’m more of an instrumental kind of gal. I find I can’t write to any music with words. I can edit to popular music, though.
What do you find most valuable about the experience in your critique group?
I love my critique group. They are terrific about catching issues in my manuscript and even better about brainstorming.
Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?
I currently have five books available. Three that were traditionally published and two I’ve self-published. When I finished my second novel, I shelved it until I finished the second in the series before I began trying to submit my first. After I pitched Cooking Up Love, and an editor asked for a full manuscript, the rest is history.
How did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?
I did an online pitch with an editor through Word Wranglers. After she requested a full manuscript, I sent it and then kept writing until I heard a month later that Lyrical Press wanted to offer me a contract for the book. After the shock wore off, there was a lot of celebration.
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
I was very excited to write about Sam Kerrigan. He has been featured in the first two books in the series and I’ve been eager to tell his story.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you?
I’ve just submitted the fourth book in the series, based on smell. And I’ve begun working on a new story I hope to have out early next year. I guess I better get busy adding words to that story.
What would you like to tell readers?
Keep reading and always remember to review the books you’ve read. Reviews really do help authors.
Sam’s attention wandered yet again off the homework papers he was supposed to be correcting. The universal law of gravitation wasn’t nearly as riveting as the memory of Rikki Salerno wearing a purple jacket and tight running shorts in the early morning sunlight. He’d resisted the urge to wrap her in his arms when he’d run up on her in the park that morning. A fiery halo had lit her hair, glints of red winking in her messy ponytail. The sight of her when she turned back toward town and ran ahead of him! He’d have been happy to follow her for all twenty-six miles of a marathon. But, his need to talk to her overruled his desire to watch her spectacular behind, so he’d quickened his pace to catch her.
Rikki had tensed when he’d started ranting about Marguerite Sims. Without knowing how, he’d made her angry again. He didn’t understand it, but she seemed defensive when he’d made disparaging remarks about her boss. He was going to have to watch his comments about the pampered princess when he was around Rikki.
And, if wishes did come true, there would be a whole lot of around Rikki time. Her image in his mind’s eye—exotic, interesting, and intriguing, all wrapped up in one sexy package…. He fidgeted in his hard teacher’s chair, suddenly uncomfortable with the tightness of his khakis. Thank God, there weren’t any students in the room. That’d be a hell of a thing to explain to a bunch of horny teens.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exposed-to-passion-gemma-brocato/1120138660?ean=9781616506162
About the Author:
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Social Media Links:
Also By Gemma Brocato:
Cooking Up Love
Hearts In Harmony