As they walked to the truck, Cam reached for her arm, but Elle quickly evaded him. They could not touch. Not in public. Not anywhere.
Cam must have caught on to her mood because instead of opening her door, he kept his hand over the handle. “What gives?”
“Nothing gives. I’m anxious to get to work.”
He studied her for another moment, his dark eyes roaming her face, searching for the cause of her behavior. Finally, he backed up, opened the door and watched her slide in. But instead of closing the door, he leaned in, planting one palm on the center console, the other on her headrest, boxing her in. With their faces a mere hairsbreadth apart, he said, “Good. Because I would hope that kiss last night didn’t scare you off.”
Turned on beyond belief, Elle couldn’t speak. So she shook her head instead.
“Great. Because I plan on doing it again soon.”
Describe yourself in five words or less.
I can do this in just one little word: sparkly!
Can you tell us a little about your book?
The Saved by the Blog series is about a small town on the Chesapeake Bay called Bayside. As small towns tend to do, Bayside is prone to gossip and rumors. They have a gossip blogger called the Bayside Blogger who writes for the local paper and reports every detail on every person in town.
Falling for the Right Brother is the first book in the three-part series. It’s a combination of Sabrina and Gossip Girl, with a little Saved by the Bell thrown in for fun. This is the story of Elle Owens, who was desperately in love with Jasper Dumont when she was growing up in Bayside, Virginia. After an embarrassing incident of professing her love for Jasper was caught on video, Elle hightailed it to Italy. When she returns to Bayside ten years later, it’s Jasper’s older brother Cam who catches Elle’s eye. Unfortunately, all of this happens under the watchful eye of the ubiquitous Bayside Blogger.
Name three things on your desk right now.
Not just right now, but pretty much at all times, I have my phone. I love listening to music while I work, so I either pull up a playlist I made, an album or listen to the radio through an app. I always have water because I’m a water-holic. And I typically have Post-it notes or some kind of paper because I’m constantly making lists (for my real life) and scribbling notes (for my writing life).
If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
Jill Shalvis, because I’m a total fan girl. I love, love, love her books. Plus, based on her social media and newsletter, I think she’d be really fun to hang with.
Jane Austen, because I adore her books. I also consider her to be the first great chick lit writer and I want to ask her about some of the remakes/homages to her books like Clueless and Bridget Jones’s Diary. I think she would love them.
JK Rowling, because I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter and her world-building ability. Also, whenever I’m having a bad writing time, I re-watch the interview she did with Oprah for the millionth time. Her description of depression is so spot-on that it actually helped me deal with my own issues.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
I was walking my dog, Harry, one afternoon and the idea for Falling for the Right Brother popped into my head. I could see the town of Bayside, Elle and Cam, everything, so clearly. I remember very distinctly having the thought: This is like Sabrina and Gossip Girl. It was strange because I hadn’t seen either in years. I thought about the story the entire time I was walking Harry and as soon as I got home, I started writing it.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Join a writer’s group and hang out with like-minded people. Learn the craft, take classes, talk to writers who are in a position you’d like to emulate.
Get friends who are not writers, will never be writers and have nothing to do with the writing world. They will keep you grounded.
Invest in a crock-pot. Trust me on this one. The time you save in the kitchen can translate to many words written.
Learn how to say this incredibly difficult, yet incredibly small word: NO.
Learn how to say YES. Yes, I will finish this book. Yes, I will submit it to publishers and/or agents. Yes, I will enter this contest.
Never. Give. Up.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
In the classroom, Mason walked over to his desk and flipped it, causing Ryder to take a defensive pose, ready to take on the little punk.
Julianna motioned for Ryder to leave, but he shook his head, negating that idea. When she did it again, he again shook his head.
Was she crazy? He wasn’t leaving two women in there with an out of control kid.
When Mason walked to the next desk and flipped it, Francesca started talking to the kid.
“Mason, come on. I get it. You’re pissed. But talk to me. Let me help.”
“Fuck off, Frankie! I don’t want to hurt you. Get out!”
Francesca got her cue from Julianna to leave the room when Mason went back to destroying the classroom, and Ryder followed.
Mason was in a blind rage by the time they had cleared the room. Everything in his path was thrown as they watched from the windows by the door.
“What set him off this time?” Mrs. Ramara asked as she joined their little pow-wow.
“Came off the bus bent,” Francesca answered. “You could see it in his eyes. He was gearing for a fight. It’s a full moon.”
Mariana huffed. “I forgot. I guess I’m going to have a busy day. We got lucky last month since it fell over the long weekend before school started.”
They stood there, watching for twenty minutes. Ryder was blown away. The kid was destroying everything in his path, and they were blaming the moon cycle? The kid needed a good beating to put him in his place.
Eventually, Mason started to slow down, tired now that he had done a lot of damage.
“I’m going in,” Francesca declared.
Ryder grabbed her arm. “Like hell you are.”
Mariana scowled at his hand on Frankie’s arm. “She’s doing her job, Mr. Vaughn. If you can’t handle it, then go to the library with the other students and staff.”
“I’m not leaving her after everything that kid just did.”
Francesca could see the feral look in his eyes. He was terrified for her. He just didn’t understand how these kids could lose it on a dime, and then once it was done, it was done and they moved on. Francesca knew one month had not exposed him to enough, but if he made it through this first major blow out, he would learn. She also didn’t want to jeopardize his sentence with Judge Belmore.
“Ryder, I’m okay, I promise. Mason is okay now. I have to reach him in the downwards spiral to see if I can prevent it from happening again. If he starts to lose it, I’ll get out. Promise.” When she saw she wasn’t reaching him, she said, “Look, you can’t blame him. It’s the result of the brain damage done to him as a baby. This isn’t his fault. It’s not that he is a bad kid; he’s just the product of a bad life. Trust me to do what’s right for him and me.”
UNDER HER WINGS
Series: Sistas Book 1
Have you ever wondered why you were so lucky? Then you wake up to find every you cherished is gone. You don’t fit into your life without the people who defined it. So, you run. You run as fast and as far as you can. Then you smash into them!
"This book is for the hopeless romantic, who believes everyone should get their happy ending. Even when happiness seems unattainable."
- Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer
THICKER THAN BLOOD
Series: Sistas Book 3
Can Caden put aside all of the hurt he suffered because of Dakota while trying to save her life? Dakota could die but she needs answers before she goes. Can she trust the man she thought would always be hers? Fate has a way of making you see the truth.
1. What was your favorite book as a child/teen?
My favorite was Charlotte’s Web, we read it in class a school. I was so obsessed with the book all I wanted for Christmas for three years was my own little piglet. I am sad to report I never got my pig, but also relieved because my father is Italian and hunter. So, I am sure pet or no pet that pig would have been Easter dinner when it got old enough.
2. Do you listen to music while you write?
Yes absolutely. I love music and generally when I am working on story lines or thinking about characters I hear certain music that reminds me of my characters. Like right now I am working on book four for this series and already have most of the songs for the play list of this book. I made a playlist for that book and listen to it while I am writing. The songs remind me of what I was feeling and what I want the character to feel while I tell their story.
3. Have you ever made playlists for your books?
Yes, every single one of my books has a playlist. In fact, in Lyrics Heart & Soul every chapter title is a song that relates to the character or a situation the character is in. Music is instrumental for this book. On my website annemariecitro.com each book is featured with its playlist and pictures from places the character visits in the book. My book encompass love, friendship, family, travel and music. I created a playlist on Spotify for each book that you can listen to that transfers over to my website.
4. Will you share with the readers something about yourself you have never told anyone else?
My biggest fear in life is losing my husband. He is truly my other half, for better or worse and I can’t imagine living one day without him. We are not mushy in front of others but I adore and love him to pieces. I can’t wait to tell him everything I wrote during the day. My husband has never read my books but he listens to me read to him every word I write. He has always treated me like a princess and has encouraged me to follow my dreams. I think I would curl up and die without him. We have been married thirty-one years.
5. What genre would you like to write that you have never written?
There is no other genre that I would like to write about. I believe there are so many stories about love and perseverance and surviving in a cruel and often-unfair world. This series of books but most especially Lyrics Heart & Soul was written to draw attention to special needs kids and the people that work with these incredible kids. I have worked in the field for twelve years and I learned my most valuable lessons of life from these courageous, funny, adorable, children. A lot of people are intimidated by these kids because they appear so different, but let me tell you they see the real world. They don’t pretend to be anything other than they are. They know who loves them and respects them.
6. What would you like readers to take away from reading your story?
There are a few things a want you to take away. Like I mentioned above I want to you to look at special needs people differently. I want you to remember they can hear you and your reaction to them leaves an impact. Next I love to travel and in each of books the character travels somewhere. I want you to feel like you are visiting the places I have been lucky enough to visit. In Lyrics Heart & Soul when they are sitting under the grape vines in Italy that is exactly what we do when we visit family there. Most importantly I want you to realize that friends can be as close as family. They are the family of your heart, the family you chose for yourself. My husband, sons, and I have survived some terrible things and we could never have survived without the family of heart; our friends.
88 pages all saying about the same thing: radical Islam hates women. Which I didn't even need to read one page to know that. There are certainly a lot of interesting things here, and I enjoyed what I learned, especially about the roots of Islam and how it's changed. The issue is that while this is technically well-written (the author is a journalist and knows her grammar), it's not very absorbing. It's repetitive, and reads like an article rather than a book. Half of these 88 pages could have been trimmed out without losing anything essential.
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
The first novel that Charlotte Brontë (born April 21, 1816) wrote, The Professor, was rejected by multiple publishers, but her second, Jane Eyre, was quickly accepted and found fans immediately.