Andrea and I are delighted to welcome Maria Geraci back to the Dish today. Maria's new book, That Thing You Do kicks off her Whispering Bay series and will be followed by Then He Kissed Me (5/19/15) and That Man of Mine (6/9/15). Count me one happy reader!
Maria writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. Her current addictions include watching the STARZ adaptation of OUTLANDER to drool over Sam Heughan, hitting the beach on the weekends, and searching for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter).
Welcome back, Maria!
I’m so happy to be back at The Romance Dish! Thank you to PJ and Andrea for hosting me today. This past year I’ve done something I wasn’t sure I could. I wrote 3 books nearly all at once. And while my family thought I was crazy (I thought I was going crazy myself!) now is the fun part—seeing those books come out for the rest of the world to read.
All three books take place in the fictional town of Whispering Bay, Florida and incorporate the characters from my first two books, my Bunco Babes series, so it was almost like coming home again. I really loved writing these stories and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them.
In the first book in the series, THAT THING YOU DO, Allie and Tom who were once high school sweethearts, must reluctantly join forces to figure out what’s causing the strange goings on in the town’s old abandoned senior center. Tom wants to tear the building down, but Allie wants to investigate it. Add in the fact that their relationship ended on a very bad note and sparks soon begin to fly. Here’s a snippet from the opening scene in which Tom discovers Allie snooping around inside the locked building.
Allie tried not to stare, but it was impossible. This certainly was not the Tom Donalan of her fantasies. The ones she had (only occasionally) after eating too much Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. In that world Tom Donalan had a beer belly, was bald, and missing a couple of front teeth. A lot of deterioration for only twelve years, but, hey, a girl could dream, right?
This Tom Donalan, on the other hand, had far superseded the promise made by his high school boyish good looks. Tall. Broad shouldered. With a full head of dark blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He stood there staring at her with his arms crossed over his chest like he was Captain Friggin’ America in charge of the planet.
He looked angry, which didn’t make sense. She was the wronged party here! He’d practically attacked her, for Pete’s sake.
She took a deep breath and tried to act as if running into her ex was an everyday occurrence. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t Tom Donalan. I see you still have all your teeth.”
He blinked and shook his head. “What?”
I see you still have all your teeth.
Of all the Tom Donalan scenarios she’d played in her head over all the years, this was not what she was supposed to say to him. She was supposed to be witty. Charming. He was supposed to be dumbstruck by her brilliance. He was at a loss for words, all right.
Allie pasted a smile to her face and tried again. “You need to be more specific. What, as in, what’s my favorite color, or what do I have programmed on my DVR for tomorrow night, or what—”
“What, as in, what are you doing inside this building?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “I could ask you the exact same question. Where’d you come from anyway?”
“I was driving by and I saw a car in the parking lot. So I stopped to investigate. Now it’s your turn. What are you doing back in town? I thought you lived in Tampa.”
He knew where she lived? “I don’t need a reason to come back home. Certainly not one I need to run by you, anyway. And I thought you lived in Atlanta.”
“Things change,” he said.
“Right. Things change.”
“So are you going to answer me or not?”
The way he stared at her made Allie squirm. Instinctively, she went to run a hand through her hair, then remembered that she’d pulled it back in a ponytail. She didn’t need a mirror to know exactly what she looked like. Ratty shorts, skinned up knee, no makeup. Her When-I See-Tom-Donalan-Again-Revenge-Fantasy was officially zero-for-two now.
As you can see, running into her ex has Allie more than a little frazzled! I think we all dream of looking like a runway model when we run into the One Who Got Away.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you run into your ex looking not as good as you’d prefer?
Leave a comment, and I’ll randomly select one person to win a signed autographed copy of THAT THING YOU DO, along with some beach swag! (US only)
Deadline for comments to be entered for giveaway is Midnight PST, April 28, 2015.
Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.
When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.
With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?
This sounds delightful. I think I 've had my share of surprise meetings. I had been married and ran into our local supermarket with three very cranky kids and looked like a total mess. And who do I accidentally ram my cart into but my ex who I hadn't seen in years. I kid you not, no sound came out even though I tried to play if off and say hey, how's it going. Lol lol He was a good sport though . I looked at him and said "see what you missed out on ". I couldn't move fast enough. :)ReplyDelete
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
Oh, Carol, that is hilarious! Thanks for sharing!!Delete
Great to have you with us today, Maria! I'm on the road until later this afternoon so will be a bit scarce until then.ReplyDelete
Thanks again for having me, PJ!Delete
Your new book looks great! Don't you always run into your ex looking awful? You always WISH you will run into him when you look fantastic, but no luck!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Nancy! I think it's fate being cruel!Delete
My husband and I were running on the beach when who comes running the other way but my ex-HS boyfriend. He had hair down to his shoulders. He looked totally bedraggled. I'm glad he dumped me.ReplyDelete
LOL! Sounds like you were lucky, Laurie!Delete
Oh dear. This reminds me of a return visit of my first summer boyfriend. I fell head over heels for the clean-cut, buff, newly graduated (from high school) athlete when he came to my small town to spend the summer with his grandparents. I was so excited when he wrote that he was coming for a visit three years later, then I opened my front door to an emaciated version of my handsome jock. Skinny, ratty hair below his shoulders, long beard, ripped jeans, sandals with the soles falling off and reeking of eau de reefer. Let's just say we did not pick up where we left off! LOL!Delete
What a great book and lovely post. So far I haven't run into any unwanted ex, thank goodness. That would be unpleasant.ReplyDelete
I have been fortunate since there were no sightings.ReplyDelete
No sightings, yet... you mean? LOL! Sorry, hope I haven't jinxed you! Thanks for leaving a comment, traveler!Delete
thanks! I love that cover!Delete
One of the guys I dated in college ended up with a business degree and his CPA. A few years after graduation, I ran into him with his accountant co-workers at a downtown bar. I was dressed in my punk/prep best and traveling with a group of artsy friends. (I was working in Advertising at the time.) After the initial greeting, Ex-Boyfriend was rather cold and likely relieved I was not The One as he took his suit-and-tie friends and moved on.ReplyDelete
Good riddance to Mr.Suit and Tie! Thanks for commenting, LauraL!Delete
If he couldn't appreciate your spirit then he wasn't the right one for you anyway.Delete
I know where he lives & works and it's across the state.... so no chance to 'run' into him... He appears to be the same and I certainly don't regret the divorce..ReplyDelete
Thanks for commenting!Delete
Sounds like it's working for both of you. That's a good thing.Delete
luckily, not yet :) and my other serious ex moved to another state, so I'm safe there. Plus, we were opposites to begin with, so I'm not very worried about running into him at places I want to go. This looks and sounds fantastic!!! thank you so much for sharing :) congrats to Maria on the new release!ReplyDelete
Distance can be a blessing, right?Delete
Hope you enjoy Maria's return to Whispering Bay. I finished the book about 11:30 last night and am already counting down the days until Book 2!
not an ex, but old friends--when you're just trying to do a mad dash into a story for something quick.ReplyDelete
I always run into people at the grocery store when I look a mess!Delete
I excel at this. No makeup, ratty hair, just need one thing and, of course, I see everyone!Delete
fortunately not! I probably wouldn't even recognize people from years ago, especially if I wasn't expecting to see them.ReplyDelete
LOL! Thanks for commenting, Di!Delete
It's kind of the same for me, Di. It's been so many years since I had an "ex" they'd most likely have to tell me who they were.Delete
The last ex I ran into showed up 20 years after the break up at my mothers funeral wanting to talk about the past and ask for my forgiveness as part of his 12 step program. It gets better. Back in the day he was borderline abusive and had turned into a stalker after I broke up with him.ReplyDelete
Yikes! Like Maria said, let's hope he's gone for good.Delete
OMG! I hope he never shows up again!ReplyDelete
Many thanks to Maria and everyone who stopped by yesterday! I apologize for my absence. I was out of town until evening then I made the (good) mistake of picking up That Thing You Do,. When I finally turned the last page and glanced up it was 11:15 pm. Oops! ;-)ReplyDelete
Thanks for a great story, Maria. Already looking forward to Book 2!
Sounds like a vg read.ReplyDelete