|Finding a Man for Sylvia.|
Margaret Lesh, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Finding A Man For Sylvia.
Genre: Chick lit, romantic comedy
Finding A Man For Sylvia will also be available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
Publisher: Musa Publishing, Terpsichore imprint
Cover artist: Kelly Shorten
Length: 60,000 words
Heat rating: Sweet
Tagline: A well-intentioned but clueless romantic is determined to find love for her lonely neighbor over her exasperated husband's objections.
Julia Hawthorne-Florez has the best of intentions, and everyone knows what the road to Hell is paved with. Her husband Javier accuses her of playing God with people's lives, but Julia is simply a fool for love. (Or maybe just a fool?)
When lonely Sylvia moves in across the street, Julia is determined to find her match. But, of course, there are obstacles. Javier, for one, who's forbidden any further matchmaking attempts on his well-intentioned wife’s part. And there’s the little matter of Sylvia being in love with a man who's taken a vow of celibacy.
Julia schemes; the hamster wheel in her head spins furiously. Handsome Ted is Julia’s first choice. Except shy Ted happens to be interested in Julia's best friend, certified dominatrix Lisa. And so it goes. Julia spins her web; Javier laughs at her. But Julia always gets the last laugh in this Latin-infused contemporary romantic comedy.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Julia Hawthorne-Florez is 36 years old. She's the office manager of Acme Medical Supply Company. It is the world's most boring job.
Javier Florez, Julia's husband, is 38 years old. He's an artist with a custom screenprinting business. He is a very patient man.
Sylvia Cruz is 36 years old. She's a bookkeeper at a Mexican bakery and lives with her parents and older brother Raul.
Ted Wilson is 32 years old. He's an accountant at Acme Medical Supply Company, is shy, sensitive, handsome, and very patient.
Lisa is 36 years old, Julia's best friend since childhood, and a dominatrix by trade. She is catnip to men.
Frank Florez is 54 years old, a biker, and Javier's father. He's handsome, and we don't quite know what he does for a living.
Ted stood awkwardly before me, lamenting his poor dumb fat kitty, and I felt a sudden twinge of inspiration. What could be more perfect and beautiful than bringing two shadow people together? It was the exact right thing to do. Ted and Sylvia were both background players. Who could possibly be a better match for my love worn friend? I was practically picking out their china pattern, wondering what their children would look like. Good looking, of course; very shy.
"So, Ted, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I said, making conversation, trying to draw him out a little.
He began to fumble and stammer, "Oh, Thanksgiving. Um, wow. I hadn't — I — uh..."
Only Ted. He hadn't a clue, and it was the next day.
"We're eating at 3:00. Join us. Please. I insist."
"Oh, uh, my mother —"
"Is she trying to set you up again?" I said with a laugh, teasing him just a little. His parents lived back home in Salt Lake City, and it was just like Bitsy to have arranged a space for him at some eligible young lady's parents' dinner table for the holiday.
He was looking down at his shoes; I leaned over from my seat at the reception desk where I was temporarily filling in and looked down at them too. They were brown brogue oxfords, the type serious professionals and college professors wear. His coordinated blue-and-green argyle socks were hot, in an “I’m in love with my teacher” sort of way.
"Really, I insist. No one should be alone on Thanksgiving."
I immediately regretted saying that. Nobody wants to feel like they're unloved and unpopular. No one wants to feel like a lonely loser. I hoped he didn't feel that way from my offhand remark, but he looked at me, right in my eyes, and nodded.
"That sounds nice. I'll be there."
He took a few steps and then stopped, turned and asked, "Red or white wine?"
"Both," I answered, surprising him. I was only half joking.
As he walked back to his cubicle, I had to stop myself from rubbing my hands together like Snidely Whiplash, who I didn't resemble in this context at all. I was using my powers for good. This time.
What websites do you visit daily?
My daily routine consists of Absolute Write Water Cooler, which is a popular site for writers to hang out and socialize. It's a valuable resource in so many ways. I also spend way too much time on Facebook, usually spend time goofing off on Twitter, and a stop by my publisher Musa's blog to read their post of the day. Oh, and Goodreads is also part of my daily routine.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Spending time with my husband and son, whether it's taking our crazy Australian Shepherd Chance for a walk or just watching a movie at home with pizza. Spending time with family and friends would be at the top of my list.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
As a writer, I'd pick Anne Lamott. I'm a big fan of her writing. I love her honesty and her fearlessness. She's been a great influence on me as a writer. She doesn't take herself too seriously, and I try to emulate that quality. She's also very funny.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
Start writing at an earlier age! And try to be less self-conscious. When I was younger, I was too concerned with what people thought of me. I should have realized that they don't really care—not as much as I thought they did.
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
Balance means not spending all of my time with my computer on my lap. This is something many writers seem to need to remind themselves once in a while. We tend to get too absorbed in either writing or book promotion and let other things slide.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I'd recommend my young adult novel Normalish because it's a coming-of-age story; it focuses on Stacy York's first year of high school, and her journey is something most of us can relate to. A comment I hear a lot from adult readers is that it took them back to their own teen years. It seems to be a cross-over book, not just for readers of young adult literature.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
A little bit of everything. I read chick-lit; romances; historical fiction; some biographies and auto-biographies; a little bit of science fiction. I read a real mix of stuff but not too much horror. I'm a scaredy-cat!
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I wish I had a crystal ball and were able to make a really good forecast. Unfortunately, I don't have that ability to predict the future, but my guess is that more and more people will purchase e-book readers and more and more e-books will be sold. I'll always have my collection of traditional books, but e-books definitely have their pluses such as being easy to read, and they certainly take up less space, which is a bonus for so many of us space-challenged folks.
What good book have you read recently?
Sebastian's Poet by Kevin T. Craig. It's a beautifully-written coming-of-age story. Get your Kleenex ready for this one, though. I was crying by the second chapter.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Spend too much time on social media while eating pretzels or chocolate.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
I am a vacation spa, definitely. Although, I've always wanted to see multiple countries on a tour of Europe. I'd still like to do that some day, provided I have the money and the energy.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with pepperoni.
I'm always ready for ice cream.
When I'm alone, I write, read or talk on the phone.
You'd never be able to tell, but I can swear like a sailor.
If I had a halo, it would be slightly crooked.
If I could travel anywhere, I'd go to Barcelona.
I can never jump out of an airplane because I'm a big chicken.
Normalish, a contemporary young adult coming-of-age story.
Books Coming Soon
Right now I'm working on the continuing adventures of Julia Hawthorne-Florez, but I don't have a title yet. Let's see what kinds of trouble she gets into next!
I will give one copy of Finding A Man For Sylvia to one of the commenters on this blog post. It's available in all e-book formats.
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