8:52 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

JULIE EBERHART PAINTER

CONTEST: Julie will deliver a free read of Tangled Web to one lucky winner. Make sure to leave a comment along with your email address for a chance to win. Good luck!

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

Julie: Thank you for having me. This is my first interview after completing the book Tangled Web, to be released in June. May 26th is my lucky week!

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

Julie: I consider myself lucky to be here. I had no sooner finished the first TW edit with Champagne Books when I broke my right leg and arm. My “last words” were “get the book out.” You can appreciate my sense of values!

AL: Please share with us about your upcoming release.

Julie: Tangled Web, a mainstream romantic suspense, is a true book of the heart. As an adoptee, I had researched my background. My heroine, Catherine, is a projection of my mother’s life as I hoped she lived it after she was forced to give me up. It covers the period between the thirties and 1951.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Julie: During my “unmentionable” experience in the hospital and rehab, I came upon an unlikely hero, an occupation no romance writer has featured. He’ll be in my next book. In real life, he saved me from anaphylactic shock after one of the nurses gave me codeine by mistake. The Working title, “Man Enough.”

I also love to read current fiction and autobiographies.

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

Julie: I love the rush of good ideas, that other world, the zone. I hate when my favorite gems don’t work. But I’m a disciplined writer and I will “kill my darlings” as Stephen King suggests.

AL: You write both fiction and non-fiction; do you ever have trouble switching from one to the other? Do you prefer to write fiction over non-fiction, or vice-versa?

Julie: My Nonfiction consists of short, essays or articles about people or places of interest. I write the travel column for a local senior tabloid. It helps that I’ve’ been interesting places, such as Easter Island. I also have fallen in love with flash fiction. www.bewildering stories.com has six of my best.

I don’t have a problem switching. One genre feeds the other and all my works are show don’t tell, even the travel stories.

AL: When was the moment you decided to sit down and put your words to paper?

Julie: I was eight and having trouble reading. But it was 23 years ago that I got serious.

AL: Okay, let’s dig a little deeper…If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Julie: Thomas Jefferson. I’m already a friend of his four-time great grandson, a childhood friend with whom I’ve stayed in contact. He provided me with the inside story and science research on how Jefferson could not have fathered Sally Heming’s first four children and that another relative likely did. I receive a prize from Writer’s Digest for that article exposé.

AL: Summer will be here in a couple weeks. What is your favorite part about the season?

Julie: We live in Florida, spring and fall are our summer. I’m originally from the northeast. Florida is very humid in the summer and it’s hard to stay outside. I do a lot of reading and swimming in the summer.

AL: There are so many good movies coming out, or that have been released recently. What’s the best movie you've seen recently?

Julie: Julie and Julia. It was brilliant from beginning to end. I read the book and it followed her life story well. Also, I have made many of Julia Child’s recipes.

AL: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Julie: Our first vacation, which started our traveling years, was a flight to Tahiti from the Cleveland Hopkins airport during a record-breaking blizzard (January 26, 1978). The other scary adventure more recently happened when we were in Kenya on a road between Mambasa and Nairobi. Guys with machetes roamed around our bus while one of our caravan buses had a tire change.

AL: Silly question… If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of three laws to enact, what would they be?

Julie: We have plenty of laws; we just need to enforce them.

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

Julie: My own is: “God is not an enabler; grow up!”

I also collect quotes from favorite authors. Greg Isles opening line, “Midnight in the garden of the dead.” From The Devil’s Punchbowl is a doozy.

And I like Barbara Kingsolver’s description of a Fourth of July celebration. Paraphrasing: “A woman cycling with the moon and men having sex with the sky.”

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Julie.

Julie: You’re welcome. Now, everyone buy the book!

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

www.books-jepainter.com
www.bookbuzzr.com;
www.gatheringauthors.com

FEATURED TITLE: TANGLED WEB

Blurb:

Wilkes-Barre’s cohesive Welsh community was a haven of Protestant values and mutual support. It was also a hornet’s nest of gossip. Neither a canary’s death nor a girl’s fall from grace escaped the locals chatter.

Good girls avoided the attention of the grandmothers’ grapevine by behaving—in public—as ladies were expected to behave with good manners and self-control. In private, emotions roiled, passions were explored, appetites satiated, and the end results “talked about.”

Or hidden.

Excerpt:

A hush fell over them as they pushed through the door. The lush Oriental rug deadened the sound as it had the night she first saw Mary lying in the double bed. The lined draperies were pushed back, allowing the waning afternoon light to radiate into the room. The bed, its spread matching the curtains, was made up tight. The closets stood open, the rose sachet fragrance gone. Jack had placed packing boxes around the room in anticipation of her agreeing to this chore. Did he know she’d be willing? Catherine approached the largest closet, remembering the night that Mary had offered her the red dress.

“She told me she had small feet.”

“Yes. No point in saving the shoes for you.” He laughed, pointing to the shoe rack below. “Let’s put them into these two boxes first.”

They worked for almost an hour. Catherine took the dresses off the hangers and folded them in tissue paper prepared for the boxes. Jack sealed and marked each box as it filled. Eventually, she came to a cloth bag that held Mary’s heavy fur coat. She unsnapped the top and peered in. Pulling it free, she ran her hand over the luxurious dark sienna and black fur. “A genuine mink. This is gorgeous. You shouldn’t give this to charity unless you plan to auction it for a monetary donation.”

“It’s sable, Catherine. Would you like to have it? It matches your hair.”

“I couldn’t! It’s not proper. Anyway, it would make my other clothes look out of place.”

“Um.” He stood back, his eyes roaming over her, appraising her figure. “I think it’s perfect for you. Try it on.”

Catherine blushed, but slipped the silk brocade-lined fur over her arms and shoulders. She stood, self-conscious as it tickled her knees. It was a perfect fit and enveloped her like cream in a warm bath.

“Mary said it took someone with more color in her face to wear it. She was right.” He licked his lips. “She usually wore the squirrel cape. You must keep that coat.”

Catherine shook her head and began removing it. Jack raced across the room and grabbed her elbows. “Leave it.” He was panting, perhaps from the sprint. She smoothed the sleeves, tears beginning in her eyes. “It’s beautiful,” she breathed, “but I can’t take Mary’s lovely coat.”

He looked down at her. “You deserve it.” He touched her lips with the tips of his fingers, then encircled her waist and pulled her close to him. “You’re a delicious morsel in this coat,” he said hoarsely. “You would be beautiful, in it or out of it.” He slid his moist lips down her neck and kissed his way back up to her lips. Then he took her breasts in his hands, kneading them, making them swell. Her nipples were marbles. She gasped and sagged in his arms. He caught her, lifting her onto the bed. His hands traced the line of her legs; his fingers worked at her garters.

Her back arched.

“This is wrong, Jack. I’m your employee, and you’re out of your mind with grief.”

“I’m out of my mind with... you,” he growled. He lay down close to her and buried his face in the crook of her neck, trembling. “I know it’s wrong.”

She felt his tears soaking through the collar of her blouse.

“I can’t stop,” he said. “I want you.”

She rolled away from him, and slipped off the bed, but he caught her hand, kissing her palm. “Forgive me. It’s just that I’m so dammed lonely.”

She nodded and sat on the edge of the bed, her feet to the floor. She smoothed her blouse and pulled her skirt over her knees. “That’s no excuse,” she said primly.

He sat beside her, his head in his hands. “I’m sorry, Cath. I’m lost. My marriage wasn’t real, just a sham for convenience. Mary deserved better. God knows she tried to please me, but my heart strayed, distracted by you. I’m crazy for you. I know it’s too soon.”

Catherine’s heart stopped for a beat before falling over itself. Had she heard correctly? “You... you care for me? You love me?”

“Since I first walked though the factory and saw you bent over your machine, your hair tracing the line of your face, I knew that you were special. You were so intent. The others looked up, put you kept that pretty nose of yours bent to the task, dedicated. I fell for you then and there.”

Catherine took her elbows in her hands and shimmied back on the bed, extending her feet, examining her slender ankles and trying to decide if this was what she wanted. “I don’t know what to say, Jack. We can’t be seen together this soon. It’s not proper. The first time the servants are gone and here I am sitting with you on Mary’s bed... I’m not... It’s not... I’ve never--”

“You’re innocent. Pure.” He kissed her cheek and ran his tongue around her earlobe.

“Yes...?”

“Then I want to show you what real love is between a man and a woman.”

Catherine felt her will dissolving. Wasn’t this what she had dreamed of, what she had wanted, what her body was telling her? She nodded and looked up at his handsome face. “But not here--not in Mary’s bed,” she said.

He stood and took her hand. “Leave your clothes but bring the coat.”

She shucked her clothes and reached for the fur to follow him downstairs. He flung open the door to the yellow guestroom where Catherine had stacked the coats the night of the party. It was much smaller than the master bedroom. A mixture of Bay Rum and apple blossoms made the room cozy and intimate.

“I’ve been sleeping in here. Mary never came into this room. She didn’t like the color; the yellow striped wallpaper washed her out.” He turned toward Catherine, devouring her with his eyes. “You absolutely glow in it. You belong in this room.”

As a guest, she wondered, or...?

He turned on the radio and pulled the bedspread off, dropping it in a heap on a chair. “Someone to Watch Over Me” played into the room.

Catherine swallowed. “I... I don’t know.”

“You belong with me now.” Jack dropped to his knees and embraced her around the waist, circling her hips and stomach, fingering her waist. “You have the tiniest waist I’ve ever seen.” He massaged her thighs and breathed onto her stomach. Her breasts tensed in the chill room.

“It’s cold in here.”

“We diverted the heat to the other parts of the house. When I’ve finished undressing you, put the coat on and lie down on the bed.

Jack’s words sounded like a command. She did as asked, not really sure what he would do next. She slipped on the coat, pulling it around her, crossing the generous folds to cover her nakedness. Her face burned.

He lay down next to her, smothering her with kisses and murmuring, almost singing with the music, one of her favorites. Before she could move, he was inside the coat, pressing into her, warming her body with his rough shirt and hard, muscled skin. His pants had disappeared. She could tell that he was a big man, determined, with his own purpose, bent on making love to her. She gave herself up to her feelings and returned his love. The sharp pain was quickly gone, and a warm glow replaced it as her desire climaxed in tender release.

When he was done, he rolled off and stood. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. You really were... innocent.”

She sat up, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I told you that. Didn’t you believe me?”

“Girls always say that.”

All her ambitions crashed around her. Pieces of her life detached from her plans. Nothing but shame remained. She’d slept with Mary’s husband.

“We’ll just pretend this never happened,” Jack said.

“How can I pretend? I... I love you, Jack. I wouldn’t have let you... if I... hadn’t. What if I get... you know... caught? What if I get a baby?”

“It never happens your first time, Cath. Don’t even think about it. But there can’t be another time. This was a mistake. We’ll have to stay away from each other, at least for a while. You’re a temptation I can’t afford. I’ll hire another secretary--”

“No! I can work out of the mill office when you’re not there. You can leave me assignments.” She knew that if she had no reason to see him, she’d have no chance with him later.

“I suppose we could arrange that. I don’t want to ruin your life. Are you all right?”

“I guess.” Catherine blew out a long sigh. “You don’t think I’m bad, do you. I just didn’t expect...”

He took her in his arms gently stroking her in the coat. “Shush, my poor Catherine. You’re not a bad girl. You’re still sweet, and innocent in your way. You gave me comfort when I needed it.”

“Is that all you felt? Comfort?”

“Not like that sounds. But it’s natural for two people in love to express themselves together. Don’t question it.” He pulled the coat up under her chin, smiling. “You must keep the coat.”

“I can’t. It would be like payment. I’d feel like a... a kept woman. A prostitute,” she whispered.

Jack guffawed. “You’re one for the books, Catherine Jones. You’re no chippy. I’ve met a few in my day, and they are nothing like you.”

“You know... them?”

“It’s quite common among men. We have needs.”

She shimmied into the arms of the coat. He pulled her against him. “Put on your clothes. I’ll wait in the foyer and drive you to the bus.”

Catherine pulled the coat tightly over her chest, sashayed past him barefoot to run upstairs and retrieve her clothes. She dressed in the adjoining powder room, which she locked.

She peered into the mirror to see if she looked different than the night Mary had offered her the dress. The glow was gone; in its place was an aura of betrayal. She’d been used. Put on a brave face, Catherine; you’re an adult. Adults are not virgins or old maids. When she was ready, she opened the door, peeked out, grabbed her old cloth coat, and slipped into it. It felt harsh against her neck.

She presented herself in the foyer where Jack waited, dressed and composed. He looked at her and frowned. “Let me fix your hair.” He took the combs out, re-combed her hair, then put them back into sausage rolls behind her ears and at the nape of her neck. She basked in his gentle touch, hoping the tenderness would last forever.

He tucked the hair into her snood, and kissed her neck, sliding his thumb over the curve of her throat to the hollow of her neck, all the while caressing her breast with his other hand. Her belly pulsed. Their kiss deepened. He stood back, clearing his throat. “Ready?”

“Yes,” she said, her chest thick with emotion.

They left the house and drove beyond the trolley to Coal Street Park, where she could catch her bus.

“I’d take you straight home, but we don’t want to get the neighbors talking.”

Catherine looked at Jack’s passive face and wondered. Perhaps her worries had only begun.

REMEMBER: Julie will deliver a free read of Tangled Web to one lucky winner. Make sure to leave a comment along with your email address for a chance to win. Good luck!

13 comments:

Sherry said...

This sounds like a very good book the excerpt was very good and I look forward to reading the rest of it. Loved the interview it was great.

sstrode@scrtc.com

s7anna said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview...totally fascinated by your Thomas Jefferson story. What a great piece of memory for you to look back on.

Thanks for the blurb and the excerpt...I'll be adding this book to my TBB list.

*hugs*
Anna
s7anna@yahoo.ca

SiNn said...

sounds awesome love teh excerpt and that cover is beautiful


mortalsinn@yahoo.com

Andrea I said...

I loved the interview. I think the variety of what you write is interesting. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the book.


ainfinger@comcast.net

Victoria Roder said...

Great interview, Julie. I find the inspiration behind Tangled Web interesting. Best to you!

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Great interview and an intriguing storyline. Adore the cover as well. Wish you every success.

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Brita Addams said...

Great interview. I have added Tangled Web to my TBR list. Thank yo for the invite.
Brita Addams
author of Serenity' Dream
www.britaaddams.com

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. it's always nice to see that the reader is in one's corner.

Julie

mariska said...

i've been eyeing to read this book for quite some times, count me in !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview!!!!!!Excerpt to book sounds intriguing..I am interested in reading the rest of the book..I wish you the best..You have a wonderful gift as a writer..Continue the great work...

Best wishes,
Raynell
rayecast2@aol.com

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Thank you, everyone, for your positive and generous comments. It's going to be hard to pick a winner, but tomorrow someone wlll be getting an email and a down, or is it an upload from me.

Julie

ROFO said...

A very interesting storyline :)

http://lovers-shore.blogspot.com/