Hi, Ruby, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Idol Urges. What inspired this story?
I wish I could say that I had my own magic tiki idol that inspired me. But the truth is a bit more boring. The story started as a writing exercise and I loved where the character was going. My heroine, Wendy, was the one who came up with the story. I just wrote it down. But somewhere in the back of my mind was the old Brady Bunch episode where they go to Hawaii and find the idol that brings them bad luck. My idol brings mostly good luck.
Blurb: Determined to graduate college and save her mother from poverty, Wendy Johnson commits to keeping her nose to the grindstone and her head out of the clouds. Unfortunately, the mysterious old woman who gave her a magic tiki idol has other plans. Every time Wendy touches the thing, her sexual frustration nearly implodes. She can’t think straight. To complicate matters, the dark-haired, debonair Franco refuses to leave her alone. So what if he’s gorgeous and has the perfect body?
Yet, with the help of the tiki treasure, Wendy discovers her desires for success are a perfect match for her Idol Urges.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I’m working on Samantha’s story. Samantha is Wendy’s mother, and of course stumbles upon the tiki idol which Wendy has lost. It’s great to see how the idol has different effects on different people. I guess it’s more like the Room of Requirement in the Harry Potter books. It brings out whatever sexual awakening the person holding it needs.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I’ve always been the story teller of my family. Just ask my parents, I’ve told them some tall tales over the years. Growing up as a single child, I had many imaginary playmates. Also, people fascinate me and I love to observe human reactions to different situations. My interest in people coupled with my over active imagination meant I have to write in order to get it all out of my brain.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
I envy those who plot out their stories. I know authors who have whiteboards or computer programs that help them map their characters’ lives. I’m so much messier. Usually, I start with an image of the main character. She is typically in an odd situation and I just put a lot of garbage on the page. It means many rewrites and revisions but that’s part of the fun.
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
Any scene in which the magic backfires during the love scenes. Magic is always a double edged sword. What’s the point of having magic in a story if it doesn’t boomerang and hit the protagonist in the face? Plus, physical intimacy is, at some level, ridiculous. I love a sexy story that shows the humor of sex. So, a hot sex scene followed by some madcap mayhem brings out all my favorite emotions.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I was born and raised in the heart of New York City. Manhattan was, and still is, my playground. I’ve lived all over (Chicago, Bay Area California, Washington DC, Philadelphia and a brief stay in India) before moving back. And although I love the energy of a big city, I need some quiet time by the ocean, any ocean.
I will travel anywhere. Most often I feel my favorite place is somewhere I haven’t ever visited. I can’t pick one.
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
I wish I could cook. I have many talents and have been able to learn a variety of things. But I cannot cook. I have two shelves of cookbooks—slow cooker, easy recipes, cooking for complete idiots. Yet, anything more than pasta comes out either burnt or mushy. Even the pasta isn’t always successful. I frequently injure myself in the kitchen. Between the knives and the stove I have many scars of my fingers. No one lets me get near the blender. But I’ll eat anything once. I even tried haggis on my last trip to Scotland.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
As a child, I was a late reader. I jealously watched all my friends devour Judy Blume and others. A very patient tutor and teacher took some extra time with me, and when I burst through my learning barrier I went from being a few grades behind to reading anything and everything. I soon surpassed my classmates and was checking out books from the main part of the library, not the children’s section. So reading isn’t just a passion of mine, it’s a badge of honor.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Warm places
2. Traveling Anywhere
3. Secret Handshakes
Wendy walked a block before she slowed her pace and approached the bus stop. An old woman sat unmoving under the shade of a palm tree. If it weren’t for the sparkle in her eyes and a serene smile, she might have looked like a statue. A flat board supported on cinderblocks lay before her. Palm leaves covered the board and on top were displayed fresh-roasted macadamia nuts.
Wendy didn’t have time to pack a dinner for herself, and the bus would take forever to get to campus. If she were lucky, she’d get there in time for class, but there’d be no time to get food. She didn’t like macadamia nuts, but followed a compulsion to buy some.
“I’ll take a small bag, please.” Wendy reached into her purse for her wallet.
“Of course you will.” The old woman smiled, revealing yellow irregular teeth. Her brown skin was creased with deep wrinkles. Scraggly gray hair stuck out from beneath a fuchsia scarf wrapped around her head. She filled a brown paper bag with the nuts and studied Wendy with shimmery black eyes.
“Your mind is busy,” the old woman said matter-of-factly.
“Yeah, busy.” Wendy held out her money and scanned the area. There were a few others waiting for the bus, but no one seemed to pay attention to this woman.
“Too busy. Clear your mind.”
“Okay.” Wendy’s voice was a hoarse whisper. She was tempted to put her money back into her bag and wait for the bus. She turned her head to look down the road, but no bus was in sight.
“Let go of your thoughts.” The woman had folded over the top of a paper bag and presented it to Wendy.
“Thanks.” She dropped the money into the woman’s gnarled hand and hurried off to stand with the others.
Wendy gingerly reached into the bag and picked out a single nut and popped it in her mouth. Its salty, creamy taste rolled around her tongue. When she reached in for more, her fingers latched around an odd-shaped object. She pulled out a small tiki idol.
“Yuck!” She had seen millions like this one in the tourist trap souvenir shops, but this one was worn with age. She looked around for a trash can that usually stood by the bus stop, but it wasn’t there. She took a heavy stride back toward the old woman, but nearly stumbled in surprise.
The woman was gone. She’d vanished. All that remained were some palm leaves and a few scattered nuts. She moves fast for an old woman.
With another glare at the idol, Wendy dropped it into her purse. As she returned to the bus stop, Wendy’s mind flashed with images of sweaty bodies, the first time she had an orgasm, and the one taboo movie she had snuck into. She shook her head, but the images remained. All her blood rushed from her head to between her legs, but her cheeks still burned.
She bolted back to the employee parking lot. “Franco!”
He was still there, propped against his car, his lean arms and chest covered by a tight black t-shirt. He talked with another kitchen worker, but she only saw his tall body, and all she thought of was what she wanted to do to it.
She stood breathless before him. The urges she had tamped down came bubbling up as she fought against the need to rip the fly of his jeans open.
“Hello, Wendy.” He smiled broadly.
“Franco, can you drive me to school?” She eyed the black El Camino. No back seat, but she’d figure something out.
“Of course. Sam, I’ll catch you later.” He held the door open for Wendy.
“Dude, I need a ride, too,” Sam protested.
“Not as badly as I do.” Wendy hurried into car and slamming the passenger door.
You can find Idol Urges at: Amazon.com
Bio: Ruby works her poor fingers to the bone at her keyboard every day. When she does take a break, you can find her stretched out on a beach chair in the Hamptons, traipsing through ancient Celtic ruins or catching the latest Broadway show.