Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Wednesday Spotlight with Debra St. John
WILD WEDDING WEEKEND
The parlor has been transformed into a makeshift game show studio. With the magnificent Chicago skyline as the drop back, the remarkable Sears Tower and futuristic marina come into view. Soft lighting casts the leather sofas and cherry wood floors in a dreamy glow. Oliver, donning the role of Master of Ceremonies, looks quite debonair in a black tuxedo. When the doorbell rings, he plucks a red rose from the vase of Waterford crystal and saunters off, humming the Dating Game theme song.
Sharon: Hello, Debra! Congratulations on the release of Wild Wedding Weekend. I’m sitting here thrilled to pieces to interview you about it. I’ve just read the excerpt and must send Oliver out for my copy.
Debra: Hi Sharon. Thanks so much for having me here today! I had so much fun writing WILD WEDDING WEEKEND, I hope everyone has as much fun reading it.
Oliver, still singing, wildly off tune, is behind the bar, whipping up a blender of strawberry daiquiris. And when he’s blended them to pure perfection, he sets the pitcher and chilled glasses on a silver serving tray and struts into the parlor, winking wildly at Debra.
At your service, love, and a large basket of your favorite munchies, Frosted Flakes.
Debra: Oliver you are a dear. (She pops a few sugar coated flakes into her mouth, gives a satisfying crunch, and closes her eyes with a blissful sigh.)
Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. (holds her glass to Debra in a toast) They’re perfect, aren’t they?
Debra: (She clinks her glass against Sharon’s.) Yes, indeed, they are. And the Flakes provide a sweet treat for my taste buds, and Oliver here (She winks at him.) provides the eye candy. Yum! What more could a girl ask for?
Sharon: So tell us where you came up with the concept of a game show for the theme for your latest book?
Debra: (Laughing a bit self-consciously, but still eyeing Oliver appreciatively.) I’d love to have a grand story to tell you about how the idea came to be, but to be honest, I really don’t remember the exact moment the idea came about. I just remember thinking, “Hey, what would happen if two strangers had to get married because of a game show?” Then, wa-la, a story was born.
Sharon: I love it! And the setting is Chicago, one of my favorite places. And that’s where you’re from. Such a historical city, and one I’m sure gives you plenty of ideas to write into your stories, right?
Debra: Chicago is a beautiful city, and while it’s home base for my characters, the main setting is the Caribbean. It’s there our hero and heroine succumb to the sultry allure of the islands and each other.
Oliver is back, pumping his biceps, his copy of Wild Wedding Weekend in hand. He smiles his beguiling smile. Might I have your autograph, sweetheart?
Debra: Oliver, darling, you may have anything you wish. (She winks again.) Anything at all.
Sharon: And while Oliver dishes out the charm, let’s read a blurb and excerpt:
All Abby Walker ever wanted was to live a normal life in her small suburban-Chicago house. After traveling around the world in her youth, staying put in one spot is a dream come true. But when she winds up on a game show as a favor to a friend, her life takes an adventurous turn she isn’t at all prepared for.
Noah Grant has put his small-town Indiana roots behind him. He travels all over the world, enjoying the freedom and adventure. He has no intention of settling down anytime soon, if ever. But then he finds himself married to Abby in a bizarre quirk of fate, and he realizes his life will never be the same.
Their passion flares as hot as the sultry Caribbean air. But is passion enough to turn their Wild Wedding Weekend into a lifetime of love?
“I really am sorry.” Abby's mind whirled. The thoughts tangled. The Noah she’d spent the last couple of days with wasn’t anything like the man she’d imagined him to be. The man even he claimed to be. Who was the real Noah?
She didn’t have time to ponder the question, because he took both her hands in his, drawing her attention back to him. “Know this. While we’re married. For this week, this trip, this asinine show, I am committed to you.” He paused and raised one hand to tuck a wisp of hair behind her ear. “Totally. Completely. Committed. To you.”
With each word his voice and head lowered, until the last was a whisper against her lips. His hand slid around to the back of her neck, then up into her hair, unfastening the clip and tossing it aside. He tangled his fingers in the strands that fell free, using enough force to keep her from pulling away as he deepened the kiss.
Abby had no thoughts of moving even the slightest bit away. She wrapped her arms around him as the tip of his tongue teased the fullness of her bottom lip. When she opened to him and he dipped inside, she almost melted from the instant flood of liquid heat that suffused her body. The warmth spread to her limbs and made her pliant as, his mouth never leaving hers, Noah lowered them both to the bed.
Oliver swoons and passes out, a smile on his sweet lips…
Sharon: Wow, turn up the heat! I must have a copy, and quite obviously, Oliver neglected to purchase a copy for me in his haste. No raise for him. LOL Now, tell us about the main characters, Abby and Noah.
Debra: (Glances at Oliver’s prone form and fans herself with her hand.) Um, yes, it is a bit warm in here, isn’t it? (She blinks.) At any rate, Abby and Noah couldn’t be more different in the way they live their lives and what they want out of life. Of course, in the end, they realize what they really want out of life is each other.
Sharon: And you mention the Caribbean. I take it the game show sent them off to an exotic island for their wedding and honeymoon weekend? Where if you can tell us?
Debra: I sent Noah and Abby on a cruise through the Western Caribbean. They visit Key West, Cozumel, Calica, and Grand Cayman. It’s actually the same cruise my hubby and I took for our honeymoon twelve years ago.
Sharon: Ah, nothing better than first hand research. LOL Did you grow up on game shows such as the Dating Game and Love Connection?
Debra: They were definitely in my era, but I didn’t watch them much.
Sharon: I think no matter how the years pass, a dating game show will always win top ratings. Don’t you agree?
Debra: Absolutely. Look how popular shows like “The Bachelor” are these days.
Sharon: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? (Sharon gasps and clutches her heart) Not that writers have spare time, mind you. But on those rare occassions when you’re not promoting, editing or writing, what does Debra St. John do?
Oliver struts out with a huge cheese cake smothered in juicy red cherries. With a wicked wink, he slices a piece for Debra and feeds her a bite, waiting ever so patiently for her response.
Debra: (Closes her eyes on another blissful sigh.) Oh, Oliver, you do spoil me. (She opens her eyes and winks back at him.) Well, besides swooning over Oliver, in my free time I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, puttzing in my garden, or watching movies with my hubby.
Sharon: What fun! What’s next for you, Debra? What’s sitting on your hard drive now?
Debra: I have a book in the final editing stages with my editor at Wild Rose. THIS CAN’T BE LOVE is the spin-off of my first novel THIS TIME FOR ALWAYS. I’m also working on a new book about a couple who falls in love despite a lot of family obstacles.
Sharon: And we’ll look forward to them. Sadly, we are nearing the end of our interview. As you know, I adore legends and lore and superstitions. Can you leave me with a favorite of yours?
Debra: Hands down I’ll go with vampires. (She flutters her eyes coquettishly at Oliver.) Remember that party a couple of weeks ago when you were biting necks? (Her words trail off suggestively and she bares her throat in invitation.)
Oliver grins, his teeth transforming into glowing fangs…
Sharon: And finally, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Who do you fancy playing the role in a literary fiction or romantic movie? And last but not least, who would you want to play your romantic hero?
Debra: Wow! That’s a tough question. I’d have to say anywhere as long as my family and friends are there with me. Are we talking a movie version of WILD WEDDING WEEKEND? I’d have to say Kimberly Williams Paisley to play the part of Abby. And Matthew McConaughey as Noah. (I had originally based Noah’s looks on Brad Pitt, but he’s looking a bit funky these days with that scraggly goatee thing he’s sporting, so we’ll stick with Matthew.) Oh, and there’s a scene that calls for tuxedoed waiters. Perhaps Oliver would like to make his film debut? (She raises an eyebrow at him.)
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining me today on Wednesday Spotlight, Debra. It’s been a pleasure, and I wish you great success with Wild Wedding Weekend. Can you tell us where we can purchase this book?
Debra: It’s available in print, e-book, and Kindle at various places. (The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.)
As the lights dim, Oliver sweeps Debra into his arms, gazing into her eyes as The Way You Look Tonight by Elton John floats through the parlor…
Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel some day.
Her debut release, "This Time for Always" is a Champagne Rose and Rosebud bestseller at The Wild Rose Press. "Wild Wedding Weekend" was released last week
."This Can't Be Love" will be her third title with The Wild Rose Press. She lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero. Debra is past president of her local RWA chapter and has also served in the capacity of advisor, manuscript chair, and secretary.
Visit her at her website,
. Or check out her posts on Sundays at the Acme Author’s Link,
. She also posts on Thursdays at the Heroines with Hearts Blog,