Writing is my life. Life is my hobby. ~Emma Lai

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stacey Joe Netzel on Mistletoe Rules

Emma: Today, on her official release day for her new Christmas book, I am featuring an interview with Stacey Joy Netzel, author of Mistletoe Rules, available from The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb: Mistletoe Rules

Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.

Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to a little Mistletoe Mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover that Mistletoe Rules are not made to be broken.

Major Mark Riley plays Court Jester to Janelle Walsh's Snow Queen at the Christmas Parade and is instantly captivated by the cute redhead whose grandpa just happens to be Santa. When Mark discovers she's the tenant he evicted from his newly purchased property, it's going to take a little bit of Santa's Mistletoe Magic to save their romance.

When Lisa Riley comes home for Mark's Christmas Eve wedding, her high school rivalry with Janelle’s cousin, Derek Walsh, picks up right where it left off, only this time Derek's got the upper hand. Santa bides his time as these two battle it out because he's waited all year for this Mistletoe Match-up.

Excerpt from
Mistletoe Magic:

She gave him a quick half-smile and sidestepped toward the wagon. “It was nice to meet you, Major. Thanks for doing such a great job as the jester.”

“You’re welcome, and you can call me Mark, you know.”

“Major’s safer.”

The briefest flash of consternation in her expression told him she hadn’t meant to say that out loud. When her foot landed on the step so she could pull herself up into the driver’s seat, Mark caught her arm and turned her around. She grabbed hold of his shoulder to keep her balance on the narrow step.

“If I don’t do this, it’s going to drive me crazy until I see you again,” he told her in a low voice.

Her throat muscles worked in a hard swallow. “Do what?” A downward flick of her gaze said she knew the answer to her own question.

He let his mouth relax in a slow, confidant smile. One step closer brought him close enough to brace a hand against the wagon on either side of her. “I gotta tell you, pretty as you were as the Snow Queen, elf suits you better—although I do miss those cute, pointy little ears.”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, please.”

He took a moment to let his gaze roam over her face. Snow drifted down silently and their breath mingled in the frigid air. Mark drew out the anticipation of what was to come, enjoying the awareness that warmed the space between them.

“You look like Christmas,” he murmured.

One corner of her mouth twitched. “I’m guessing it’s the costume.”

He shook his head and reached up to twirl a red curl around his finger, watching the silky length wind against his skin before holding her gaze with his. “Red and green, and all wrapped up like a delicious, cinnamon scented present.”

She laughed softly.

Mark closed the remaining few inches, pressing the length of his body to hers. “In fact, I think I need to go find Santa and tell him I’ve been a real good boy this year.”

He spoke the last words a hairsbreadth away from her lips.

“You ain’t been good enough for my granddaughter, sonny.”

Mark froze. Amusement sparkled in Janelle’s eyes. With an inward groan, he faced the owner of the stern voice. The Santa Claus from the parade stood directly behind him, glaring daggers at Mark over his wire-rimmed glasses, his arms crossed over his belly full of jelly under the jolly red suit. Janelle’s blond-haired cousin, Derek, stood beside him with a similar expression of hostility.

Mark swiveled his head toward Janelle. “Santa’s your grandfather?”

Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/mistletoe-rules-paperback-p-3721.html

Welcome, Stacey! You know I love anthologies, and ones with holiday themes are the best!

Quick questions for you as a reader:

1) Where do you like to settle in for a good read? In the front room of our house, where there’s no TV, curled up on the recliner with a hot cup of tea.

2) What is your favorite genre? I read just about any genre except erotic romance, but I tend to prefer contemporary.

3) What length do you favor…shorts/novellas/novels? I like them all! Most recently, your fantasy novella, His Ship, Her Fantasy. Great read!

(Thanks so much!)

4) Whose POV do you prefer…hero/heroine/villain? I’m a huge sucker for the hero’s POV. I like knowing what the guy’s thinking, especially when he’s fighting the inevitable, falling for the heroine.

5) Do you like first/second/third person? I prefer third person, but can read anything as long as it’s written well.  I recently enjoyed Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games in 1st person, present tense.

SJN: Emma, thanks so much for having me here today!

Emma: What has been your greatest fear you’ve had to overcome as a writer?
SJN: Thinking about what my family and friends will think when they read a love scene. LOL I still cringe over it, but don’t let myself think about that when I’m actually writing them. Once the scenes are edited and the book is published, there’s nothing more I can do about it, is there?  Okay, fine, I blush.

(I have the same problem, but I have to stay true to my characters.)

Emma: What/who has been your greatest inspiration?
SJN: My parents are my greatest inspiration. They raised me to work hard and go after my dreams. To this day, they never hesitate to tell me and my siblings how proud of us they are. In Mistletoe Rules, Santa Butch and Judy are a cute tribute to them, since my dad (Butch) used to play Santa at the neighbors every year.

(Where would we be without the love of our parents?)

Emma: What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Do you have a goal?
SJN: I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a greater purpose to my writing. If my books do nothing more than give someone a few hours of joy, touch their heart and offer hope, I’m more than fine with that.

(I share the same goal!)

Emma: What makes your writing unique?
SJN: I think each author’s own experiences in life brings a uniqueness to their writing. You can start 100 writers with the same sentence and each will come up with something different based on how events in their lives have affected them.

(There’s an interesting concept for an anthology.)

Emma: What appeals to you about your genre?
SJN: Some people love to research. Dig in and learn every little detail about their subject. I’m not one of those people—reminds me too much of school. So I write contemporary, where a minimum of research is required.

Emma: How do you deal with criticism?
SJN: I’d say I deal with it just fine, but my husband might disagree. Oh…did you mean criticism of my writing? Um, well, I try to pick out what rings true and push the rest to the back of my mind and keep writing.

(LOL! Our poor husbands.)

Emma: What do you do when you hit a wall? (Can’t figure out a character’s emotions, where the plot should go next, etc.)
SJN: Unfortunately, when this happens, I clean. I Hate cleaning (yes, with a capitol H). Sometimes it lasts a week or two; most times, thankfully, just a few days. 

Emma: What other works have you published?
SJN: I have an anthology titled Welcome to Redemption, written with my good friend, Donna Marie Rogers; a Christmas novella, Dragonfly Dreams; a short paranormal, If Tombstones Could Talk; and a contemporary western, Chasin’ Mason, and my free read at The Wild Rose Press, Never Say Never.

Emma: What are you working on now?
SJN: Working title is Lost in Italy, and you’re the first to see the ‘working’ blurb.

The best laid plans…

Halli Daniels spent two years planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy with her brother and sister. Her meticulous itinerary did not include being stranded by her siblings, kidnapped by a sexy international movie star, dodging bullets, or fleeing gun-toting criminals in a high speed car chase around Lake Como. And that’s just in the first three hours.

…often go awry.

Trent Tomlin put his movie career on hold to investigate his brother’s murder-ruled-suicide at his Italian villa. He’s closing in on the killers when an American tourist unwittingly films the shooting death of the retired Italian cop helping him. Now the bad guys want the evidence and they’ll stop at nothing to get it—including holding Halli’s family as collateral.

Life’s a little different unscripted.

Used to working on movie sets with planned scenes each day, Trent suddenly finds himself having to save the girl, get evidence to nail the bad guys, and rescue the hostages. With all that going on, how’s a man to avoid falling for the unassuming beauty who blossoms with every challenge they face?

I hope to finish the book by the end of November and begin submitting it for publication in 2010.

Emma: Thank you for your time, Stacey, and good luck with your future books!
SJN: Thank you, Emma, it’s been a pleasure! If anyone wishes to read excerpts for any of the above mentioned books, you can visit my website at www.StaceyJoyNetzel.com.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is in less than a week and would like to wish anyone celebrating that particular holiday a wonderful day full of love, family and friends. Take care and happy reading!


Emma Lai said...

Thanks for being a guest, Stacey! I'm off to get my copy, but I'll be checking in periodically today!

Beth Caudill said...

A Christmas anthology. ooo nice. Can't wait to read it.

Linda Swift said...

Loved your excerpt, Stacey. Your characters really came alive. I wish you success with this book and all your books. Linda

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

This has been a great month here, Emma, with all your guests! Thank you for having me. I hope you enjoy the book. :)

Morning, Beth and Linda! Thanks so much for coming by. There's more excerpts on my website, and I'm also being roasted at Author Roast and Toast--where I'll be giving away a copy of Mistletoe Rules at the end of the afternoon on Saturday.

Have a great day ladies!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for swinging by Beth and Linda!

Emma Lai said...

I'm sure I will, Stacey!

Mary Ricksen said...

I just loved your excerpt. Right away I know I have to read this book! I love the way the children plot to fix them up. It just sounds like a sweet love story. Just what I love. A happily ever after story. That makes my heart want the best for the characters.
Good luck with sales Stacey!!!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Thanks, Mary! The girls' plotting is unintentional, but Santa makes good use of it, and I had a blast writing the girls. Though my dear friend Donna said I gave her a tooth ache because they're so sweet. LOL

But they remind me of Boo and Lindy in TWRP book The Daddy Spell. Loved that book. :)

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for visiting, Mary!

Jennifer Johnson said...

I love a Christmas story! Sounds like some good ones here.

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Stacey! This sounds like a great book! I also love the premise for your new book too. Good luck!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Sounds like this is a sweet love story. I love happy endings. :)

I wish you the best!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for posting, Jennifer and Kaye!

Christie Craig said...

Sounds like a winner. A perfect read to curl up and read in front of a Christmas fire. And I love, love the cover.

However, you can have the tea, I'll take a glass of wine.


Emma Lai said...

Karen and Christie...thanks for coming by!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Jennifer, Kaye and Karen--good to see you here, thanks for coming over. If you like happy endings, you get three for the price of one in Mistletoe Rules. *grin*

Kaye, thanks for the comment on my wip. Got to get that baby finished!

Christie, I love that cover, too. Thanks! In the evening, every once in a while if I have some stashed in the freezer, I'll substitute the tea for a brandy slush. Shh!

Donna Marie Rogers said...

What a fun interview, Stacey! :-) But thanks for making me sound like a meanie...LOL I think it's just because the little girls in our lives are so opposite of Reese & Heather. *grin*

Emma Lai said...

Welcome, Donna Marie!

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, ladies! Mistletoe Rules sounds fantastic, Stacey! I love that you named characters after your parents. What a lovely tribute.
Congrats! Wishing you sleighloads of sales. Ho ho ho!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Cate!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Donna, I didn't mean it that way--sorry. :) Yes, definitely different from my dear daughter. Why do you think I had so much fun writing them? lol

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Thanks, Cate! :) I gave my dad a copy for his birthday and signed it "You'd better read this one!" He hasn't read anything of mine yet, but swears he will. I don't believe him. lol

Elaine Cantrell said...

Great interview, ladies.

Mona Risk said...

Stacey, Mistleto Rules sounds like a fun book to read at Christmas. And I am eagerly waiting for your next book set in Italy.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Thank you for stopping by Elaine and Mona!

Guess I better get back to writing my wip. Glad to hear some positive feedback on the blurb. :)

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for swinging by Elaine and Mona!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Stacey Joy,
Hope this finds you well. Great interview Emma. Mistletoe Rules, fabulous title, sounds very interesting. There certainly is something special about Christmas.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Margaret!

Skhye said...

Hi, Stacey! Sonny... LOL. Nice conflict. ;) Thanks for the interesting interview, Emma. I'm off to check out the new releases...

Emma Lai said...

Howdy, Skhye!