Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jolie Pethtel, author of Painted Jezebel, and Domestic Goddess by day and Writer by night. Let’s take a look at her book, and then you can find out a little more about Jolie below. Onward…
What it’s About:
Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.
Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home–until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.
After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.
When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.
Jezebel’s stomach lurched abruptly, jarring her back to consciousness. Flashes of bright, white light burst behind her tightly closed eyelids and she knew this was going to be one killer hangover. Her memory was a bit hazy—a complete blank really. She didn’t recall getting drunk and blacking out, but she must have. Happy Birthday to me.
The day was a complete bust, of course. She’d have to write twice as much tomorrow to meet her deadline. All she wanted right now was some aspirin for her pounding headache and a good night’s rest. Maybe tomorrow her mind wouldn’t be so fuzzy.
Jezebel gingerly opened one bleary eye and then the other, trying in vain to focus on something—anything. She only succeeded in making herself dizzy and nauseous. The scenery passed by in a blur, with only one consistent focal point—a continuous row of palm trees and while Arizona was thick with palms, there weren’t any in her neck of the woods.
The implications were sobering. Dear God, this had to be a nightmare. Even in her present groggy state, she could tell she was no longer safe and secure in her cabin.
Worse yet, she deduced she was in a moving vehicle, being transported to God only knows where, and with each second that passed Jezebel sped further and further from the only safe haven she had ever known.
She would never have consented to such a thing of her own free will and with this realization confusion fled and panic set in. She was being kidnapped!
Jezebel wanted to scream and yell for help, but knew instinctively that if she did, her head would likely explode. The pain was excruciating.
She touched carefully around her skull with the tips of her fingers. She suspected a blow to the head had caused her current unfortunate circumstance, but no evidence supported that notion.
“Hello, sleepyhead,” the kidnapper greeted her in a cheerful tone. She knew that voice. The familiar Irish lilt. It was that attractive, if annoying, publicist. She knew he was desperate to attend some conference, but kidnapping? The man was a lunatic. She’d witnessed his desperation first hand, of course, but never imagined he would dare go this far. How had he managed to lure her out of her cabin and into his vehicle without a single protest? Jezebel fought to remember. She should have screamed the house down. What he accomplished was an impossible feat, but he was more devious than she had given him credit for. There was only one way he could have pulled this off.
The bastard drugged me.
“What did you do to me?” Jezebel rolled her head to the side with considerable effort to give him her most fearsome glare. He didn’t even flinch.
“I just gave you some sleeping pills.” He shrugged.
“Some?” Her voice rose to a screech. “How many is some?”
“I don’t know. I just crushed a bunch and spread them over the pizza. Who would have thought such a dainty little thing could eat a whole pizza by herself?”
“You could have killed me!” Jezebel was horrified.
“You have been sleeping a long time,” Finn admitted. “I was starting to worry, but you seem fine now.”
“Fine? I am so not fine!” Jezebel began to hyperventilate. “Oh God! I—can’t—breathe!”
“Don’t worry. I came prepared for this.” Finn pulled over to the side of the highway and handed her a paper bag.
“What—the Hell—is this?” she wheezed, studying the bag as if it were a foreign object.
“What does it look like? It’s a paper bag. Cover your mouth with it and concentrate on breathing in and out slowly, until the feeling passes. You’re having a panic attack.”
Jezebel closed her eyes and did as instructed, albeit resentfully, holding the bag over her mouth until her breathing steadied. Still clutching the bag, she turned to face Finn. “Please tell me you brought my medication.”
“Medication?” he frowned. “I looked through your medicine cabinet and I only saw the prescription for sleeping pills. There were no other prescription medications.”
“I keep them in my nightstand in case I have an anxiety attack during the night,” she attempted to explain patiently. “Please tell me you brought them.”
“Sorry, no. It looks like for this trip we’re going to have to do it old school.” He gestured toward the bag. “No drugs.”
“Old school!” she shrieked, hitting Finn over and over with the paper bag. If only she had something harder that would inflict more pain. A blunt instrument maybe, but she had to make do with what was available. Heck, with a little luck maybe he’d suffer a nasty paper cut. “Are you out of your mind? You—are not—a doctor. You are not equipped to handle my condition. You have to take me home. Right Now!”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jolie Pethtel was born in Ohio, but raised in Arizona, where she met her husband Jim. Jolie has since moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she lives with her husband and their six rambunctious children. In between taking care of all those kids, Jolie was kind enough to answer some questions I had for her:
What was your inspiration for this story? The family was on a long drive up north toward Pinetop Arizona where my mother in law lived. The area was beautiful, but also very secluded. I started daydreaming about a character who deliberately isolated herself, hiding from the world. I began to wonder why she would be so afraid to step outside of her cabin door and what had made her this way and ended up spending the entire camping trip writing.
Please describe your version of a perfect romantic evening. When my husband and I were first married we’d get out of the city and go to a hotel called the majestic, with a fireplace and Jacuzzi, usually on our anniversary. I always looked forward to it, but then we just had too many kids.
What was the most difficult character of this story to write? I can’t say I had one. Each character was so well defined in my mind, complete with three dimensional personalities. I’ve never had such a group of characters so well developed. It’s like they all wrote themselves into the story.
What was the most enjoyable character of this story to write? Another tough question. I had a blast writing the banter between Jezebel and Finn, but some of the secondary characters were really fun too. I loved making everyone hate constance and Jezebel’s friend Harmony is a personal favorite. She’s one of those brutally honest people that constantly shock and appall people, but you can always depend on to have your back. The sequel Poison Pens actually leaves a thread to continue with her particular story. There’s more to all the characters than meets the eye and continuing on with the series many of their secrets are revealed.
Was there a part of this story where you felt like banging your head against a wall, or did it all flow freely for you? I’ve had stories like that, but not this one. The novel seemed to write itself. Even when the person I chose to be the killer changed it didn’t cause the slightest speed bump in the writing process. Things just transitioned so smoothly in another direction I didn’t even really notice. It’s a rare thing though. Not all writing comes so easy. My only issue was with being careful about who’s head I was in. Making sure Jezebel’s point of view didn’t come through on Finn’s chapters and vice versa.
What’s better – chocolate or vanilla? And why? Depends of what you’re using it for. Chocolate. Vanilla is too plain. (Note from Carly…a girl after my own heart!)
What is the one thing you want readers to know about you as a person? I’ve always had a passion for writing and my characters are very real to me. I do the best I can to bring them to life on the page so the reader can experience the same depth of feeling I do for each and every one of them whether it’s love, hate or anything in between.
Don’t forget to visit Jolie at:
Author Website: http://www.jezebeljinx.com
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/joliepethtel