Taming the Texas Beauty
by Jody Vitek
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Interview with by Jody Vitek:
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Jody Vitek. Welcome Jody! I'm so excited you could join us. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Jody: I’ve been a stay at home mom for seventeen years and writing for about sixteen. I’ve been married for 27 years and have three children ages 21, 17 and 13; all are at home. My 17-year-old will be going off to college in Wisconsin in the fall. I enjoy scrapbooking when time allows. My youngest plays traveling soccer, so we’re kept busy throughout late spring and late fall with a short break during late October into early November.
I love romantic comedies but enjoy most movies. I grew up in the 80’s and love John Hughes movies and the music. The 80’s station is my go to channel on the satellite car radio. I do enjoy listening to everything but hardcore rap. I read the daily comics in the paper. They say laughter is the best medicine. I love tattoos and have four of them. If they weren’t so darn expensive, I’d have more. You need to approach me to get a conversation started, as I like to hide in my corner of the room. I went to six different schools and my family never moved. The changes were all due to urban growth. I can imitate a Peacock’s call, which is high-pitched and should not be done in an enclosed area. I missed the beginning of my own wedding reception because I got sick, and joined the party once the dance was underway.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Jody: When I plotted this story, I didn’t want another pregnancy in one of my books. Stephanie Lockhart, the heroine of Taming the Texas Beauty, came to me about being pregnant. My characters talk to me. Much to my dismay at the time, they do things that surprise me. Stephanie reacts a lot like I did when I found out I was pregnant with my third child. Four years after my husband had a vasectomy, I came to terms with the possibility that I could be pregnant. I took a test on July 4, and…Surprise! I was not happy. You can’t ignore the situation, so you plan what you need to take care of for this little bundle of joy. You cry out of uncertainty and happiness. Try telling your friend who’s been struggling to get pregnant that you’re having an unexpected baby. It’s not easy emotionally. All women are different.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for your latest release?
Jody: Taming the Texas Beauty is the third book in a trilogy of stand-alone stories. I never intended to write a series. Which is why there are two years between the three books. To better explain, I’m going back to my first release and the first book of the three, Florida Heat. Maggie Carlisle, the heroine, leaves Texas to go to Florida where she meets Trent Randall, the hero. Chloe Atwood, Maggie’s good friend from Texas, and Chad Rogers are introduced, and they get their story in book two, Texas Two Step. It is in Texas Two Step that you meet Stephanie Lockhart and Ryan Rogers of Taming the Texas Beauty. Before I got to writing their story, I knew my characters, their careers, and a little bit of their background. I also wrote a happily ever after ending for all of the characters in the trilogy.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Jody: My next project is a four-book series, called Seasons of Change, and they take place in north central Minnesota. In the first of the four books, still untitled, as my heroine sees it, her marriage is failing. Autumn wants her marriage to survive, unlike her sister Spring, who’s going through a divorce. Autumn seeks solace at the family’s cabin, where she and her husband Carter will heal their marriage. All four of the books will lead the characters to the family cabin to resolve their troubles.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Jody: Not really. I’m a pantser and do start with a very basic outline of who my characters are and what the story’s about. But from there, anything can happen. As I mentioned above with Stephanie “speaking” to me, I listen to where my characters want to take me on their journey.
A typical day looks like this – At six-thirty a.m. my alarm goes off, and I make sure my kids are awake. I lounge in bed on my Kindle, reading emails, checking in on Twitter, and play a round of Trivia Crack. With my laptop, I sit at the dining room table and eat my breakfast and drink coffee, while reading the front page of the paper, check the obituaries (I’m of an age where, well, people are dying), and finish the paper by reading the comics. Then I waste too much time on Facebook. What a time suck social media can be. We have a love-hate relationship. Some days I’m off sooner than others. Then it’s time to get to the business of writing. This varies bases on what needs to be done. I can be promoting, or creating promo, writing my newsletter, writing my website post, writing a blog post, or simply writing the next book. Toss in lunch when the urge hits and I go back to writing until the kids get home from school at 2:20 and 3:00 p.m. Only if I’m on a roll do I keep working, otherwise, my time is for them and the house.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Jody: To me, it doesn’t seem like a lot of research because it can be fun at times. When I do research, I rely on the internet. Google Maps has probably been the biggest help for Taming the Texas Beauty. From a simple map of the area for setting the location, locating restaurants (some are renamed), to showing me the view from the street of the location I’m writing about. I’ve used it for other books, but never as much as I did for this book.
It’s not a fascinating fact, but I had to do research about professional men’s shaving and watched a video on YouTube. If you’re interested in watching the video, You can find it on my website. It was nice to learn that some men take the time to treat themselves to this kind of pampering. I would put it up there with a relaxing pedicure, but you’d have to ask a guy who’s had the pleasure of enjoying both procedures.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Jody: My favorite author is Nora Roberts, but we all like a little variety. I also enjoy old school Stephen King and V.C. Andrews, Barbara Longley’s Perfect, Indiana series, Tara Fox Hall’s Promise Me series, Alice Sebold, Nan Dixon, Lizbeth Selvig, Michele Hauf, and Kathleen Eagle to name a few.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Jody: Ah, you mean you want me to step from behind the curtain and reveal what I’m going to try writing? The one genre I’m going to try writing is an erotica romance. If I find I can’t write it as an erotica, the story will be a contemporary romance. I’m working on this simultaneously with my other stories. There is no deadline for a finish date.
Two years ago, Ryan Rogers was attracted to Stephanie Lockhart, but as the detective who brought down her criminal brother, getting close to her was out of the question. Now, ready to restart the relationship, he discovers her salon is connected to a series of high-end robberies.
In spite of losing her brother because of Detective Rogers, Stephanie hasn’t forgotten their attraction. It could be happily ever after when they meet once again…until she and her salon are implicated in crime, sending her world spiraling out of control.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
“We need to talk to Stephanie.” Vergas’s voice softened. He remained silent while running a hand through his hair.
“If you want, I can call the salon and see when she’d be available to talk to us.”
His stomach tightened. He didn’t answer her, as his thoughts focused on Stephanie. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he skirted into the right lane.
“I’ll make the call. Ryan, she’s not a suspect, as of today, but you need to—”
“I know what I need to do, Vergas,” he snapped. He flexed his fingers gripping the steering wheel several times, then rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m sorry. I’ll talk to her as soon as I can.” He exited the highway and entered the concrete jungle, putting them a block from the salon. Taught muscles screamed for relaxation.
“Is that why you’ve been quiet?” Vergas’s calm kept his frustration at bay.
“Yeah.” City traffic and lights held his focus. He wasn’t in the mood to talk. Monica got the hint, and for that he was thankful.
This development had him realizing his feelings for Stephanie were more concrete than he’d originally thought. His stomach sank. They couldn’t rule Stephanie out as a possible suspect. She owned the salon. Like her brother, she could easily be involved in illegal activities. Ryan couldn’t believe she’d be like her brother. Yet, she did have a connection to the wealthy through her parents. Surely, they belonged to the same clubs and groups as many of their victims. Maybe she was involved.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jody Vitek is a multi-published author with Satin Romance, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC. She has been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Midwest Fiction Writers (MFW) since 2001 and is a Provisional PAN member of RWA.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Jody remains close to home living with her husband of twenty-five plus years, three children and a cat named Holly. Growing up, she enjoyed reading V.C. Andrews’ the Dollanganger series, starting with Flowers in the Attic, S.E. Hinton, and Stephen King to name a few. Today her tastes run across the board in fiction and non-fiction, in all genres.
She has traveled throughout the United States, to the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. Between watching her youngest son playing soccer, maintaining one of the many scrapbook albums, gardening and being the COO of the Vitek household, she writes contemporary romances.
Contacts and Links: