I want to welcome Dorothy A. Bell. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Tell us about your latest release.
Reinventing Mica Avery is a contemporary novel, the story is the story we all eventually face, that being the tying up of the loose ends our parents leave behind after they’ve gone. Coming from a dysfunctional home situation makes Mica’s task complicated and confusing. But it also offers the adult Mica the chance to heal and close some old wounds. Of course there is a love interest, contractor Gus Breedon. Gus is unlike any man, or person Mica has ever known before. He’s someone she can rely on, someone who wants to be her friend as well as her lover.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show?
Hands down Jack Nickelson as the Joker in Batman with Michael Keaton. So creepy and sappy. Evil and childish. Not unlike some of our politicians.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
Buck Hoyt from my Oregon historical romance Dance Hall Road. Buck runs a whore house way out in the back-of-beyond. He’s a grouchy, prickly recluse with a heart as big as all outdoors, and when he cleans up, he’s real sexy.
3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
Romance. Always romance. Mostly Oregon historical or western romance. I love the time period of the late 1800’s so much is going on, the industrial age is moving people into a whole new world, a world many are not ready to accept. Women are beginning to see they’ve been getting the shaft and are starting to stand up for themselves. We still have a lot of work to do in that respect.
4.) What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel to my Dance Hall Road series. I have another Dance Hall Road novel with the editor on the queue titled Do-se-do. Do-se-do is the story of Petra’s son, Gabriel. In Dance Hall Road Buck saves Petra and her infant son from certain death and a bleak future on the run.
5.) What got you to start writing?
I started writing novels way back when my husband worked the swing shift. Instead of turning on the TV I wrote stories, stories that I could see in my head. Stories where I could play all the parts. At that time I had not a clue how to have any of my novels published. That came about much, much later. I had a lot of learning to do.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
Names of places and people intrigue me. Dance Hall Road came about while my husband and I were out for an afternoon drive east of Baker City. There is a Dance Hall Road out there. Out there in the middle of nowhere, a road that goes nowhere, a road with no signs, no buildings just dirt, sage and rock. I had to put a story to that place.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
Oh, first off, I once weighed 204 pounds and I’m only four foot eleven so that wasn’t good. Six years ago I lost eighty five pounds. I’ve gained some of it back over the last year. But I’m fighting the battle. I spent eighteen years of my life as an aquatic exercise instructor. Retired now, I go to the pool and do my own thing. I’ve had my knees replaced. I met my husband in the sixth grade. He bugged me all through grade school, middle school and high school. I agreed to go out with him when I was sixteen. And we’ve been going steady ever since. Oh, yeah, I’ll be seventy this summer and I feel like I just got started on my life.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
One of them, the biggie, is story telling. I do garden and landscaping.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Don’t lose your voice, don’t try to be something you’re not.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
Cary Grant, Kathryn Hepburn, Spencer Tracey, Eleanor Roosevelt. I wouldn’t talk, I would listen.
11.) What song would you say describes your life?
Imagine by John Lennon.
12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
A cat, they know how to survive. And do they ever have an imagination.
Taking a lesson from a house riddled with mold, clutter, and bitterness, Mica Avery unearths a treasure trove of lost love and forgotten dreams and enough wealth to begin her life anew, if she’s brave enough to grab hold and live it.
She’d never thought of herself as one of those swooning, fluttering types of females. But she sat there, her pulse playing hop-scotch, stomach woozy, and not a damn thing she could do about it. She couldn’t form a simple sentence or focus on anything but Gus Breedon, his tan, hairy legs, his muscular shoulders, and bulging biceps.
Oh, and the earwigs that probably, at this moment, were crawling up the side of the very stump she sat on.
With his hand going to her shoulder, he said, “Put your head between your legs, I hear it’s supposed to help.”
She closed her eyes to say, “It always sounds stupid to me. Who can bend over that far?” She didn’t say it out loud, but she thought, besides, if I look down, I’m gonna stare at your legs, those hairy, muscular, tan legs in those skintight cutoff shorts. Oh, my God.
“I sure am sorry I frightened you. I didn’t mean to.” Gus did have a nice, soothing voice, deep and warm like rich, brown molasses. She had to recover and fast, and made herself think of Gary. She needed to remember how Gary sounded. When she thought of Gary’s voice, she thought smooth, like cold steel. He clipped his words, making noises like a salesman most of the time. Lately, the sound of Gary’s voice irritated her. Yup, that worked—thinking of Gary pulled her completely out of panic mode, leaving her to feel nothing but stupid.
Gus Breedon, of all people, she couldn’t believe it.
“I’m okay,” is all she could say...very clever. “My heart, I think, is slipping back down into its correct position in my chest instead of up in my throat. My pulse has slowed from an all-out gallop to a trot.”
She rarely blushed, but around Gus Breedon she couldn’t stop the rush of heat from infusing her cheeks. Becoming flushed all over, she scolded herself you’re too old for this, too experienced for giddiness.
She had a mad desire to rip her clothes off and run through the sprinkler—with Gus giving chase, naked, of course. Well, what a silly thought. She blushed on top of her blush, and ordered herself to get a grip.
“Where did you come from?” she asked before she had time to think of another ridiculous scenario. Gus had a big face, a manly face, like the Brawny towel guy, only more brawny. Groan—there you go again. She could feel the giggle coming on. She wanted to stop it, stop it right now. She didn’t have time for Gus Breedon. As a matter of fact, she resented his presence altogether, with his hairy legs and big face.
“Oh, yeah. Well, I’m over at the Kramers,” he answered, and glanced over his shoulder toward the construction site. “We’re building an RV garage for them.”
This situation, with all the neighbors watching, all the guys on the construction crew watching her from the moment she’d pulled into the driveway—so typical Perry Grove. She could imagine them watching her, listening to her go around the house, looking in the windows, hollering for Lela.
Suspicious, Mica asked, “I thought you worked at the hospital?”
“The hospital...? Oh, oh, yeah, the janitor cart. I had a construction job, doing a remodel of some storage rooms. I stayed to sweep up, clean up after...you know. When I got off the elevator I went the wrong way. I should’ve taken a left to the service elevator, but I went right. I knew it the minute I turned the corner, and that’s when I nearly took you out. Sorry.”
Mica didn’t know why, but she nodded her head, even though she didn’t understand at all. Gus stood before the patio door, studying it. He bent forward, then squatted down on those magnificent thighs to run his hands along the aluminum channel at the bottom of the door. She wished he would go away. She didn’t need strangers hanging around. Lela would hate it, if she was in there stuck in the tub or something.
Gary should be here, not Gus Breedon. Gus Breedon wasn’t really a stranger, he knew Mica at twelve when she wore braces. Gus Breedon knew her at fifteen, her face one big pimple. And God help her, he knew her at sixteen, pregnant, and in disgrace...in so much trouble.
Here she stood, in trouble again. But this was a private, personal moment. She wanted to keep it between Lela and her, no outsiders allowed in on this one.
Barnes and Noble: