Thanks for inviting us to post on your blog today. Since my hero in Saved by the Salsa (coming soon from The Wild Rose Press), Jack Dalton, got to fill in for her in another recent blog post, my author, Barbara Barrett, decided to give me equal time. (Okay, I nagged a bit.) So here are my responses to some “in-depth” interview questions.
How did your author arrive at your personality?
When my story was first percolating in my author’s head, she was trying to learn more about data-based decision making for her day job. Not that she hadn’t applied those principles before, but her prior decisions tended to be more intuitive than based on research. So my personality developed around her increased use of numbers and facts to make her point in work decisions. My hero, Jack Dalton’s, personality is a reflection of my author’s more perceptive, instinctive side. Guess she had a blast pursuing both approaches. How she escaped developing a split personality is anybody’s guess, but that’s why she’s the author and I’m the character/architect. So far, she hasn’t designed any buildings.
What things would you have changed about you?
I’m pretty happy with how I turned out. My author made me gorgeous and shapely and gave me a great sense of self-confidence. Though a tad intimidated to be teamed up with the firm’s golden boy, I wasn’t afraid to stand up to him when he started spouting his I-know-more-than-you-know approach to building design. It would have been nice if my father hadn’t deserted our family when I was six or if my mother hadn’t died of cancer when I was a young teen, but then this wouldn’t have been the same story.
What are your personal hang-ups?
Me? Hang-ups? Hmmm. Jack would suggest my reliance on numbers and facts sometimes makes me pause before I take action, while he’s a shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. But we make a good team that way, my ying to his yang. Maybe it’s my way of getting myself noticed and respected in my profession. I’m petite, you see, okay, short at five-two. Though I certainly get the attention for my looks – something about blonde hair and blue eyes gets the men looking at me – I learned long ago I had to get past those attributes to have my architectural designs taken seriously, which is when I discovered how you can sell almost anything if you can impress people with your research.
Did your story end at the right place?
Jack’s and my story ended just fine. Sorry, can’t tell you much more than that, or you might not read the book. Actually, the tale of the Sullivan’s Creek continues from there in Tough Enough to Tango, the second book in the series, although we’ve handed over our “starring” roles to our developer, Jake Bonneville, and his general contractor, Shae Harriman. We do, though, pop in, so our readers can continue to follow our ongoing romance.
Taking a more literal interpretation of this question, did the story end in the “right place,” location, I kind of liked an earlier version more, where everyone wound up at Sullivan’s Creek. Seemed more “organic” to me. But my author needed a more potent ending with fewer characters. Shoot, I almost told you why, and that would have given away the ending. My author really frowns on that.
What’s with the Salsa?
Besides architectural design, Jack and I learned we shared another interest, Salsa, the Latin American dance. I picked up the basic steps on a cruise several years ago and since that time had been learning the more intricate moves at Salsa clubs. I have no idea where or how Jack became familiar with it, he seems to simply absorb things like that. We first danced together at our boss’ fiftieth birthday party. The man literally took my breath away, guiding me around the dance floor. In his arms I felt, well, swept away is so cliché, but that’s exactly what happened. I guess Jack got a little carried away too, but not so much with me as the group of admirers along the sidelines applauded our efforts. In one of those brilliant strokes of genius only he can pull off, while I was catching that breath I told you I’d lost, he invited them to a class we were teaching the following week. A class he just made up, mind you. Since our project was to come up with a design concept for a residential community for baby boomers, what better way to study them? Like the title of our book indicates, our inspiration for the development emerged from this dance class and thus saved our professional tushies.
Thanks again, Babette, for giving me a chance to speak outside the pages. My author kept a pretty tight rein on my words and thoughts in Saved by the Salsa. It was fun to break out on my own.
Junior architect Lacey Rogers welcomes the opportunity to work with Jack Dalton, the firm’s golden boy, that is, until her hormones can’t resist his charm and spectacular looks. How can she keep her mind on their design project when her most potent designs are on him?
Jack Dalton has always worked alone. Now he’s got a partner. Is he losing his touch? Is that why he hasn’t been named principal yet? To make matters worse, he can’t take his eyes off the petite piece of fluff. If he can’t find some way to cool his jets, he won’t be able to keep his hands off her either.
But on the dance floor, their mutual resistance melts as their bodies meet in the vibes of the Salsa. Can the dance keep them collaborating after the music ends?
Jack didn’t know how much longer he could keep his libido intact with Lacey’s body sprawled over him. Parts of his own body had already rebelled and shown up ready for business.
Every time he tried to speak, he inhaled the scent of lilacs.
Who’d have thought this little blonde fluff ball could turn him on like this? Like he hadn’t been with a woman in months. His body had never reacted so swiftly to one of his other lady friends. Just what he needed. Another female thinking she’d corralled him. Hell. That’s exactly what she had done, though if she’d tried, she never could have intentionally pulled off a stunt like this.
“Jack, is that your cell phone I feel?”
“Darn! I thought maybe we could call Cam, if he ever…oh—”
She’d finally caught on.
“Don’t squirm. Don’t even move.”
Great. Now she knew the state his body was in. Last thing he wanted her figure out. Would she panic or take advantage of the situation?
He was running out of ideas, at least, escape plans. They were stuck here a while, literally, until Cam got bored and came looking for them. Then there’d be another kind of hell to pay. Cam would think he’d deliberately snared the junior architect into this prison. For once, he regretted his reputation as the office lothario.
Why hadn’t he thought to change before making this trek? Even the novice had known enough to wear hiking boots. If he hadn’t been wearing these new tasseled loafers, he might have stood a better chance of negotiating this hill. Instead, a couple steps on the slick ground and he’d gone sailing pell mell down the side and right under this monster of a tree. Talk about your slippery slopes. Should have known better.
Where was his cell phone? Of course. He’d stuck it in his slacks pocket just before sailing out into the soggy field. “On second thought, I do have my cell on me,” he told her abdomen.
“Great! Can you reach it?”
“Depends. Can you roll to the side so I can get to my back pants pocket?”
“I thought I wasn’t to move.”
“That was before I remembered about my phone.”
No immediate reply. Finally, “Worth a try.”
The next thing he knew, she was rocking her pelvis in an attempt to dismount. “Not what I meant!” he screeched.
“Doesn’t feel like I made much progress.”
You made progress, all right. But not with the task at hand. She’d succeeded in finding yet a new way to torment him.
Bio: Barbara Barrett spent her professional career as a human resources analyst for Iowa state government, and that training has stayed with her in her writing of contemporary romance fiction.Now retired, Barbara spends her winters basking in the Florida sunshine and returns to her home state of Iowa in the summer to “stay cool.” She has published two romance novels with The Wild Rose Press, And He Cooks Too and Driven to Matrimony. A third, Saved by the Salsa, the first in the Sullivan’s Creek series, is coming later in 2014.
You can find Barbara at:
Website and blog: http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com
Driven to Matrimony
And He Cooks Too