Today on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are hosting the always fabulous Donna Simonetta with a fun author interview! PLUS! She’s sharing her NEW release: A Sweeter Spot!
So, tell us! What was your inspiration to become an author?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and have loved books all my life. I never thought that writing could be a career option for me, so I followed other career paths – Account Executive, school librarian – until a health scare stopped me in my tracks. After that, I decided to try writing during a summer vacation from my school job, and, at least psychologically, I’ve never looked back! I’ve continued to work at my library job, and write around it, but that’s become an increasingly difficult balancing act since Angels Fly was published last summer.
Any hobbies you enjoy? Any hobbies your characters share with you?
I’m pretty much a homebody…I like to spend time with friends and family, and I LOVE to read! Kelly, from Angels Fly, is a book lover and an author, and Magda, from A Sweeter Spot, is also a book lover and a librarian. Heather Braden, the heroine of the second book in the Rivers Bend series, shares my love of making up festive cocktail recipes.
Tell us about your latest book, A Sweeter Spot.
A Sweeter Spot is a contemporary romance set in the fictional small town of Rivers Bend, Virginia. It starts out as a little bit of a fish out of water story, as Magda is a northern girl, born and bred, and she’s now living in this tiny town on the Virginia-Maryland border, but she comes to love Rivers Bend and its people. She’s come to the town to get away from her wealthy, controlling grandmother, and doesn’t expect to fall in love with the town–and with the sexy former NFL player, who is the town’s favorite son. Her grandmother isn’t about to give her up without a fight though.
A review of A Sweeter Spot described it as the “Perfect mix of love, passion, humor”, and I was thrilled with that description, as that was exactly what I was going for with this story!
Tell us about your lead character, Jeff, and his trials as a single dad. He sounds dreamy!
Thank you! I have to confess that I think he’s pretty dreamy! Jeff’s daughter, Sam, was just a baby when her mother died, so he’s always been a single dad. He’s made Sam his top priority, and his family is a huge help with her, but before Magda he was always very careful to keep his love life separate from his family life. As Sam heads into her tween and teen years, I think his protective, inner alpha male will present lots of new challenges for him.
Inspiration for Jeff? Any male actor etc. who was your inspiration?
I never really have had an actor be an inspiration for a character. In Jeff’s case, as I wrote A Sweeter Spot, I realized his personality and character were a lot like my husband, who is also a native Virginian, although not a former professional football player. Maybe that’s why I find Jeff to be so dreamy, I wrote him to be just my type!
How about the female lead, Magda? Who was your inspiration for Magda?
Like Jeff and my husband, Magda and I share some traits as well. We’re both from Connecticut, both librarians, both Hungarian-Americans. However, I’m not a petite blonde, and my grandmother isn’t one of the wealthiest women in the world. Heck…neither of my grandmothers were the wealthiest women in their neighborhoods!
Will there be more books in the Rivers Bend series?
Yes! A Sweeter Spot is the first book in a trilogy, although as I’ve been working on the next two books, I see potential stories beyond the three I originally envisioned. I’ll have to see when I’ve finished these three books if I’m ready to leave Rivers Bend yet. Hopefully my readers will fall in love with this quirky little town as much as I have, and if they want to read more about it, I may keep going!
I’ve read you like a good “umbrella drink!” What’s your favorite? Do you have a favorite place to enjoy your drink?
Every June, my husband and I celebrate the end of the school year, by going to St. Pete Beach, FL. It is the most beautiful white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico, and it is one of my favorite places to relax with a good book, and an umbrella drink! And my favorite umbrella drink…hmm…that’s a tougher question. On the beach, I enjoy the classics–a Mai Tai, Dark & Stormy, or a Margarita.
Here’s a bit about A Sweeter Spot…
Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.
Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.
Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?
Sounds great, right? Donna has given us an excerpt, too!
“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”
She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”
She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.
How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.
He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.
“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”
She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.
Where can you get A Sweeter Spot?
A little bit about Donna:
After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
Where can you find Donna…?
Thank you so much, Donna, for joining us today and for sharing A Sweeter Spot! Congratulations!
Happy Reading to All!