Sunday, November 16, 2014

Can I Really Love You?

Fantastic author and fellow member of the Yosemite Romance Writers of America, Cora Ramos, sent out a blog tour challenge to the group. The week of November 17 is my week to pick up the gauntlet and share information about my first book, “Julia’s Star” which was published in August 2014.

Reader Review:
Bonnie hit it here in her novel... with the kind of characters I like in a Romance novel...strong, capable woman who can also show her vulnerable side and ultimately let love conquer her resolve. A man who knows how to cultivate his lady's talents and also treat her like a Queen, never giving up on his vision of the two of them becoming a lifelong couple. Throw in a ranch and horses and you have me hooked! A fast read. Love her phrases! She knows how to use the English language! Couldn't put it down and the characters stay with you for days. Definitely recommend it! I Want more! Hopefully she repeats some of the supporting characters and we learn more about them! Can't wait for her next book!


Join me as I explore the following questions:

  • What is the teaser description for your book’s story?
  • What is the main conflict that each of your characters faces?
  • Why did I want to write this story?
  • What is my writing process?

What is the teaser description for your book’s story?

You chug along life’s highway, minding your own business, and all of a sudden - wham - something smacks you upside the head.  For smart and sassy widow, Julia Marlowe, it was something as simple as a flat tire that landed her squarely in the path of swashbuckling film star, Jason MacKenzie, who slams into her life with the force of an 18-wheeler.   

She doesn’t want to like the guy.  The lifestyle he represents stands contrary to everything she believes in.  He has that Hollywood ‘love-them-and-leave-them’ attitude written all over him – but despite her best intentions, he has a way of getting under her skin.  Besides, her kids like him and so far he hasn’t flinched at tarantulas, errant goats, space aliens and the chaos an active household creates. 

Then again, there is the little matter of his ex-wife, Barbara, who clings to Jason like plastic wrap on steroids.  Further complicating the situation is the 200 mile distance between the places they call home.  She has no desire to live in his world but can he possibly live the country life after the bright lights of the big city?  Can she trust a man who only has to smile to make millions of women’s hearts go pitter-pat to give her the happily ever after ending she seeks?

What is the main conflict each of your characters faces?

Julia met the man who would be her husband while she was still in elementary school – the brother of her best friend. They grew up together in a small California town and eventually headed off to the same college. Brian was really her only boyfriend – good, sweet, dependable Brian. Until he was tragically killed in an automobile accident, she didn’t understand how much she counted on his guidance and steadying influence. Sure she had her own career as a successful writer but Brian had always been there to help make those big decisions. Now, the responsibility for the well-being of their young family, was all hers. Enter film star, Jason MacKenzie, so different from any man she had ever known. The attraction is definitely there but she has to decide if she can trust him with her heart and if they can mesh their two very different lifestyles.

Jason married the wrong woman for the wrong reason in his first marriage and was devastated by the experience. He wants love and wants what his parents and sisters have found in their relationships. He also knows that people are drawn to him for what they think he can do for them or to give their careers a boost. He eventually realizes that Julia is the life partner he has been looking for but now he needs to convince her that he is not the person she thinks he is.

Why did I want to write this story?

I love to explore the human condition and why we make the choices we do. Most of us are much more comfortable  dealing with the familiar. When faced with new situations and personalities, it’s not unusual for us to question ourselves and look for options that will take us back to what we know. Julia has to decide if she has the courage and strength to venture into – at least for her – uncharted territory.

Jason is rightly suspicious of people’s motives for wanting to get to know him. He wants to find a lasting love but his first foray into matrimony didn’t end well. He needs to learn to trust what his heart is telling him again.

Finally, this story gave me the opportunity to explore how we all deal with our pre-conceived notions about other people. We all have our biases but it’s whether or not we let them hold us back or whether we move forward in spite of them.

What is my writing process?

I start with a very brief story concept and then spend a good deal of time getting to know my characters. I have a very detailed characterization worksheet that helps me visualize what my characters look like, where they grew up, what their childhood was like, what are their favorite foods, where did they go to school, what are their hobbies, what their education was like and the chance to delve deeply into their personalities. Thanks to the internet and all the fantastic images from around the world, I also put together an image board of places that my characters will visit or live in as the story unfolds. Of course, if possible, I love to visit the places I write about so I can bring more realism to the journey they take as  they become a couple. Research is another important component of my process as I strive to make the situations and choices my character make genuine.

You can purchase a Kindle or paperback version of “Julia’s Star” at


  1. Bonnie, I love that you dig deep into your characters and do an image board! Do you use Pinterest for the images?

  2. No, I do it the old fashioned way and paste images onto a board that I then frame and hang on the wall - one for each of my main characters. I'll bring them to the next meeting as 'show & tell.'