10:11 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Marilee Brothers

CONTEST: Marilee will draw a name from everyone who leaves a comment and the winner will receive an autographed copy of The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam. So please, make sure to leave your email addy!

AL: Hi Marilee Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Marilee: Hi Ann. I appreciate the opportunity.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Marilee: My husband and I live in Washington state, but spend five months a year in southern California. At this moment, we’re travelling north on Interstate 5, heading for home!

AL: What do you have for us to read?

Marilee: The first scene of my humorous romantic suspense, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam.

AL: When did you say okay…I’m going to sit down, write this book and make my writing career happen?

Marilee: For years, my life was about raising a family, teaching, coaching and taking classes. Even though I was crazy busy, I always read 2-3 books a week and scribbled down poems and short stories. When I finally had the time, I got serious about writing and wrote my first book, Castle Ladyslipper, a medieval romance with paranormal elements, followed by Rock and Roll Queen, drawn on my experiences as a teacher and counselor. I also write a young adult urban fantasy series for Bell Bridge. Moonstone, Moon Rise and Moon Spun are the first three, and I’m contracted for three more. After writing that first book, there was no stopping me!

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'?

Marilee: I have a general idea, plot-wise. It may be a single sentence or, at the most, a couple of paragraphs, but never a detailed outline, since I almost always end up someplace I didn’t plan to go. However, before a single word appears on my computer screen, I write a detailed background for each my main characters. After I know them inside and out, I trust they will show me the way.

AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?

Marilee: I love the surprise factor, how the writing process takes me to new and unexpected places. Seeing my books in print is a thrill and hearing from readers makes me so gleeful if I had a tail, I’d wag it! That being said, writing is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I have great difficulty turning off my inner critic and letting the words flow. I have to keep muttering to myself, “Not etched in stone.” My least favorite? The dreaded synopsis!

AL: Do you have a mentor or critique partner that you work with consistently?

Marilee: No, writers are pretty sparse in my neck of the woods. I would love to have one. Any volunteers?

AL: All right, let’s get personal. Spring is here! What’s your favorite part about the season?

Marilee: After spending the winter somewhere else, I love going home. No place like it!

AL: What would people be surprised to know about you?

Marilee: That I’m a real klutz, digit-wise. In the second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Moats wrote the following on my report card, “Marilee isn’t very artistic.” Naturally, I took that comment as a challenge, and wasted many years trying to prove her wrong. Hence, the paint-by-numbers disaster, the slippers I knitted for every member of my extended family that unraveled at first wearing, and the misshapen blobs of wax I produced during my candle-making phase. You see, I had this pent-up desire to create something and it wouldn’t turn me loose. Thank the good Lord, writing scratched that itch.

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Marilee: When I wrote Castle Ladyslipper, I became fascinated with Eleanor of Aquitaine who was married to two kings (Louis VII of France and Henry II of England) and the mother of a third (Richard Lionheart). She raised an army and went to war against her second husband (Henry) because he wouldn’t put their son on the throne. (She was a little ticked off about his mistress as well.) Henry imprisoned her for sixteen years, but Eleanor had the last laugh. After Henry died, Richard was crowned king and went off to fight in the Crusades. Eleanor basically ruled the country. She lived to be 82 years old in the 12th Century when the average life expectancy was 30. Sharing dinner and a glass of wine with Eleanor would be awesome!

AL: What type of music do you relax to?

Marilee: I love my satellite radio because I enjoy all kinds of music. Somehow, I find light classical music the perfect background for writing. But, I also absolutely adore classic rock and outlaw country!

AL: You have just won five thousand dollars! But...you have to spend it all today. What will you buy?

Marilee: I would love to be in a position to give money to the charities I love. If I was gifted with this manna from heaven, I’d keep $1000 for PR and give the rest to the Central Washington Humane Society who take such wonderful care of abandoned and abused animals.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Marilee: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person…Albert Schweitzer

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Marilee.

Marilee: You are so welcome. Thanks for having me.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Marilee please visit:

http://www.marileebrothers.com/
Also, follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
 
FEATURED TITLE: THE ROCK and ROLL QUEEN of BEDLAM
A Wisecracking Tale of Secrets, Peril and Murder
 
Blurb:
 
A teacher for dysfunctional teens by day and a karaoke singer by night, recently divorced Allegra Thome knows where to find trouble. After disrupting a drug bust by accident, she meets Sloan, a tough, sexy DEA agent. However, their relationship must take a backseat when Sara Stepanek, one of Allegra’s students, goes missing under frightening circumstances. Hidden within cryptic messages and bizarre codes in the girl’s journal, Sara’s disappearance indicates psychological manipulation and foul play. As Allegra searches for the girl, she encounters false leads and a cover-up involving some of the most influential people in her small Washington town, both of which put her own life in danger.
 
Excerpt:
 
Chapter One
 
Friday
 
Pantyhose are a tool of the devil.
 
On a tall woman, the crotch hangs at knee level so she’s forced to crouch and shuffle like Quasimodo. If a woman’s vertically challenged, they slither downward, pooling around her ankles like a reptilian second skin. My troubles began with pantyhose.
 
For a Friday, it had been relatively tranquil. No fights, no blood spilled, no weapons displayed. All in all, a good day for a teacher in a classroom of behavior disordered teenagers with a few felons thrown in for good measure. The queen of Bedlam, that’s me.
 
After school, I scoot across the parking lot as fast as my walking cast will allow. In forty minutes, I’ll be cast-free and ready for my third date with Michael LeClaire. Seriously hot, comfortably rich Michael LeClaire. Rumor has it his parents have ordered him to go forth and multiply. Enter Allegra: stage right.
 
With date number three looming large, I’d thrown together a killer outfit. Short, clingy black dress with a neckline that dips down—tastefully—to allow a glimpse of cleavage. Wispy lace panties and strappy heels. Successfully field tested and ready for action, it’s stashed in a shopping bag behind the seat of my red Ford Ranger.
 
Zipping across town to the clinic, I think about my leg and how it will look cast-free: pasty, shriveled and, in all likelihood, sprouting coarse dark hairs. Had I thrown in a pair of panty hose? Of course not! I slap myself in the forehead.
 
Braking hard, I swing into Sid’s Gas‘n’Grub. Because Sid is the father of one of my students, Crystal (shoplifting), I like to give him my business. Sid sits on a stool engrossed in a tabloid, his big belly pressed up against the counter. He marks his place with a pudgy finger and looks up. “Hey teach! How’s my kid doin’?”
 
“Not bad, Sid. Just a little language once in a while.”
 
“Aw, shit.” The corner of his mouth draws down in disapproval. “Hey, Suze! Didja hear that? Goddam kid swears at school!”
 
Sid’s wife Suzy stands up from behind the Plexiglas case where shriveled hot dogs rotate over a heat lamp. She talks around the cigarette dangling from her lips. “What are ya gonna do?” She shakes her head. Ashes fly.
 
I assure them, compared to her classmates, Crystal is a veritable poster child of good conduct. I pick out my pantyhose and rummage through my purse for $6.73 while Sid peruses the package. He beams his approval. “Good choice, Miz Thome. Ya gotcher midnight smoke, lace high-cut panty, nude toe and heel. New boyfriend, huh?”
 
“Sort of,” I mumble, regretting it immediately. Oh, what grist for Crystal’s mill. I’d pay. I wave goodbye as Sid assures me, “Let me tell ya, I’ll have one serious fuckin’ talk with Crystal about her language.”
 
I step into the parking lot where a midnight blue Honda Accord with flipper wheels sits next to a beat-up Chevy; both of them nosed in to the line of poplars marking the back of Sid’s property. I know this car. It belongs to another of my students, Jose Delgado. Jose is relatively crime-free, assigned to my class due to spotty attendance, two weeks on, one week off, like clockwork. With his multiple gold chains, smooth olive skin and dreamy eyes, Jose is the hands-down favorite of my behavior-disordered ladies.
 
I lift my hand to wave. But it isn’t Joe behind the wheel. It’s his guardian, the man he calls Tio Estefan, talking earnestly to a man in the passenger seat. I stuff my new panty hose behind the seat and look at my watch. I still have time to speak to Estefan about Jose’s attendance. Dragging my cast, I skitchity-hop across the parking lot calling out in my pathetic Spanish, “Hola Estefan.”
 
He looks less than thrilled to see me and makes shooing motions with his hand which I ignore. As I lean over to remind him of his responsibilities, a series of events explode like a string of firecrackers.
 
Doors slam. I gape in open-mouthed astonishment as the man in the passenger seat points a gun at Estefan. Suddenly, I’m grabbed from behind and pinned against the car. A rough male voice growls in my ear, “You’re coming with me, lady!”
 
Heart leaping in my chest, I scream, “Sid! Suzie! Help me!”
 
With a howl of rage, I slam my cast into the man’s shin. He mutters an oath, spins me around, rams a shoulder in my midsection and hoists me into the air as I shriek and struggle. My captor, grunting with effort, tells one of his henchmen, “Get the goddamn door open. She weighs a ton!”
 
What?
 
“It’s the cast!” I yell as he stuffs me into the back seat of the Chevy.
 
Frantically, I try to scramble out of the car and bash my nose into his elbow. Blood gushes from both nostrils. The man recoils and I finally get a look at the guy who not only assaulted my person, but implied I’m overweight. Big, mean-looking guy. Cheeks dark with stubble. Blood-shot pale eyes. Strings of greasy hair hanging below a baseball cap turned backwards.
 
“Wha … wha?” I stammer as he digs a filthy-looking bandana from his jeans pocket and tosses it at me. I press it against my nose, gagging from the rancid odor of motor grease and sweat. He backs out of the car, slams the door and tells the guy behind the wheel, “You know where to take her.”
 
At his words, I feel the air leave my lungs. I scrabble for the door handle. There is none. I fight for breath while my brain books a one-way ticket on Air Terror. Who are these people? What do they plan to do to me? Shoot me up with heroin? Sell me into white slavery? Will I end up in some third world country dragging my cast behind me as I walk the streets, forced by a sadistic pimp to turn a trick in exchange for a crust of bread?
 
“Nooo!” I howl as the driver executes a perfect three point turn and pulls out of the parking lot. Sid and Suzie stand in the doorway of the Gas and Grub, eyes wide with surprise and mouths agape. I pound on the window and scream, “Call the cops!”
 
The driver pulls out into the street. “Take it easy, lady. We are the cops. What in the hell are you doing in the middle of a drug bust?”
 
I sink back in the seat, pinch the bridge of my nose to stop the bleeding and moan, “I just wanted to invite him to parents’ night.
 
REMEMBER: Marilee will draw a name from everyone who leaves a comment and the winner will receive an autographed copy of The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam. So please, make sure to leave your email addy!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the continued good press. Michael LeClaire

bmerleeb said...

You're welcome!
Marilee

Cat Lindler said...

Great post, fellow Medallion author! And I really enjoyed your excerpt. Your writing is different from what I usually read, and write, but it's fresh and unusual.

suemont said...

An excerpt too - that was a real gift. Good post, Marilee and keep up the good work promoting small press authors. We're the best.
Sue

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors to read, enjoyed the post today! Sounds like my kind of read. tWarner419@aol.com

Andrea I said...

Thanks for the excerpt. It sounds like a very humorous and entertaining book.


ainfinger@comcast.net

Dawn said...

Great interview! Btw, I LOVE your teen series, Unbidden Magic... didn't even know it was YA when I ordered it on my kindle and I LOVE IT! Can't wait for more!!!!

Would love to get a signed book too... YOU ROCK!

be well...

bmerleeb said...

You're in luck, Dawn. I'm doing revisions for Moon Spun right now. Thanks for your nice comments.

Cheryl Elaine Williams said...

Hi Marilee,
Here's wishing you all the best with your writing!

SiNn said...

sounds awesome! deff will be checking this book out great interview loved the excerpt

SiNn said...

forgot my email lol oops


mortalsinn@yahoo.com

steph said...

So exciting! Great interview.
stephaniebeckauthor@gmail.com

mariska said...

i love the excerpts ! great one !
can i have a complete story of this book please :)
Knowing A new for me Author is always great !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Sun Singer said...

That's one heck of a great book cover.

Malcolm

GinaKincade said...

Would love to win a copy of The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam.

Ann, I do so love your interviews! Thanks for another great one!

bmerleeb said...

FYI, many of the characters in this book are loosely based on students and colleagues I encountered during my years working at an alternative school for at-risk kids. Names changed to protect the innocent!
Marilee

bmerleeb said...

Quick little nag - don't forget to leave your email address so I can put you in the drawing!
Marilee

Ann Lory said...

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by and getting in on Marilee's book. It does look fun doesn't it?

Ann

Jana Richards said...

Fun excerpt Marilee. The book sounds like a hoot.

Jana

Babbett Ray said...

I'm gonna read this! It looks good!!