Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get To Know Sheila Roberts!!

Searching for a good read?

Well, look no further, TLN'ers!

It's our lucky day! Please help me welcome the wonderful and fabulous SHEILA ROBERTS!! She's gonna share some tips for success. Her October release, ANGEL LANE made Amazon's list of Best Romances of 2009! How cool is that?!

No need to scrounge in the couch for change, advice here is always f-r-e-e!! So, take a much deserved coffee break and nosh that donut you've been eye-balling!

We're diving into the good stuff!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

A fun read.

2) Using three words, describe your voice.

You know, these are hard questions! Let's see. How about these? Funny, heartwarming, friendly.

3) What's the best writing/career advice you've ever received?

Never give up.

4) Newbie to Published: How have you grown as a writer?

I've learned patience for one thing. Career success in publishing doesn't often come at lightning speed. I'm learning to relax and enjoy the journey. As to the writing itself, I think I've gotten better at writing a bigger, more complex plot. And, I hope I've gotten better at going deeper into my characters.

5) Any tips on promotion you'd like to share? What's your favorite method of promo?

Do what fits your personality. If you're not a ham don't go on TV. If you're shy don't torture yourself with book signings. (The Internet is a great place to promote and meet wonderful people and it's not so threatening.) There is "something for everyone" when it comes to promotion, so do what you will enjoy and be able to throw your heart into.

6) Do you follow a particular writing schedule? What keeps you productive?

I write every day. Times vary. I schedule my work life around my family and social life.

7) What can Sheila Roberts fans look forward to next?

I'm very excited about my spring book SMALL CHANGE, which will be available this coming April. It's about three friends who are fighting three different battles on the money front. And, like in many of my books, they come together and help each other. I think it will be both an entertaining and encouraging read, especially with the current economic challenges so many of us are facing.

Excerpt from Small Change:

There it sat, a Cloud Nine queen-sized luxury gold comforter with red ribbon appliqué and metallic embroidery. Forty-percent off. It was the last one left. Tiffany Turner had seen it, and so had the other woman.

The woman caught Tiffany looking at it and her eyes narrowed. Tiffany narrowed hers right back. Her competitor was somewhere in her fifties, dressed for comfort in jeans and a sweater, her feet shod in tennis shoes for quick movement – obviously a sale veteran, but Tiffany wasn’t intimidated. She was younger. She had the drive, the determination.

It only took that one second to start the race. The other woman strode toward the comforter with the confidence that comes with age, her hand stretched toward the prize.

Tiffany chose that moment to look over her competitor’s shoulder. Her eyes went wide and she gasped. “Oh, my gosh.” Her hands flew to her face in horror. The other woman turned to see the calamity happening in back of her.

And that was her undoing. In a superhuman leap, Tiffany bagged the comforter just as her competitor turned back. Score.

Boy, if looks could kill.

It would be rude to gloat. Tiffany gave an apologetic shrug and murmured, “Sorry.”

The woman paid her homage with a reluctant nod. “You’re good.”

Yes, I am. “Thanks,” Tiffany murmured, and left the field of battle for the customer service counter.

As she walked away, she heard the other woman mutter, “Little beast.”

Okay, now she’d gloat.

She was still gloating as she drove home from the mall an hour later. She’d not only scored on the comforter, she’d gotten two sets of towels (buy one, get one free), a great top for work, a cute little jacket, a new shirt for Brian, and a pair of patent metallic purple shoes with 3 ½ inch heels that were so hot she’d burn the pavement when she walked. With the new dress she’d snagged at thirty percent off (plus another ten percent off for using her department store card), she’d be a walking inferno. Brian would melt when he saw her.

Her husband would also melt if he saw how much she’d spent today, so she had to beat him home. And since he would be back from the office in half an hour, she was now in another race, one that she didn’t dare lose. That was the downside of hitting the mall after work. She always had to hurry home to hide her treasures before Brian walked in the door. But she could do it.

Tiffany followed the Abracadabra shopping method: get the bargain and then make it disappear for a while so you could later insist that said bargain had been sitting around the house for ages. She’d learned that one from her mother. Two years before, she had successfully used the Guessing Game method: bring home the bargains, and lull husband into acceptance by having him guess how incredibly little you’d paid for each one.

She’d pull a catch of the day from its bag and say, “Guess how much I paid for this sweater.”

He’d say, “Twenty dollars.”

“Too high,” she’d reply with a smirk.

“Okay. Fifteen.”

“Too high.”


“Nope. Eight-ninety-nine. I’m good.”

And she was. As far as Tiffany was concerned, the three sexiest words in the English language were fifty percent off. She was a world-class bargain hunter (not surprising, since she’d sat at the feet of an expert – her mom), and she could smell a sale a mile away.

Great as she was at ferreting out a bargain, she wasn’t good with credit cards. It hadn’t taken Tiffany long to snarl her finances to the point where she and Brian had to use their small, start-a-family savings and Brian’s car fund to bail her out.

She’d felt awful about that, not only because she suspected they’d never need that family fund anyway (that suspicion was what led to her first shopping binge), but because Brian had suffered from the fallout of her mismanagement. He’d had his eye on some rusty old beater on the other side of the lake and had been talking about buying and restoring it. The car wound up rusting at someone else’s house, thanks to her. Even the money they’d scraped together for her bailout wasn’t enough. She’d had to call in the big guns: Daddy. That had probably been harder on Brian than waving good-bye to their savings.

“Tiffy, baby, you should have told me,” he said the day the awful truth came out and they sat on the couch, her crying in his arms.

She would have, except she kept thinking she could get control of her runaway credit card bills. It seemed like one minute she only had a couple and the next thing she knew they’d bred and taken over. “I thought I could handle it.”

It was a reasonable assumption since they both worked. There was just one problem: their income had never quite managed to keep up with the demands of life. It still didn’t.

What a terrific tasty teaser! I know I'm a bargain hunter, too. Retailers beware, I always show up packin' heat . . . smokin' hot coupons that is! What's not to love about clipping out savings? If only I could clip out the calories in a chocolate, I'd be set!

A huge thank you goes out to Sheila for being here today! And THANK YOU, TLN'ers for gifting us with your time! Be sure to check out the Random Good Deeds contest on Sheila's
website . What a wonderful way to ring in the holiday spirit!

Wah-Hoo! It's here! It's here! Yes, I'm one of the millions who will be joining ranks with the teenie-boppers to stand in line for a glimpse at New Moon, but rest assured- I know what true Hollywood heroes used to look and sound like! (and they're above the legal age limit! LOL) Here's one of my all-time favorite leading men,
Gordon Macrae in OKLAHOMA! Now, this is what it used to take to be on the silver screen back in the day! *sigh* I'd take a velvety voice over muscles anyday!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Nice interview. Thanks for sharing!

Emma Lai said...

What a beautiful cover! I love the colors. It smacks of an intimate moment between friends. Sounds like a wonderful read. Good luck!

Thanks, Sarah, for providing yet another great interview!

Kaye Manro said...

Nice interview Sheila and Sarah! It is a beautiful cover! It sounds like a great read as well. Good luck, Sheila.

LK Hunsaker said...

I was also struck by the cover. Beautiful artwork!

And I'm a bargain hunter but a non-competitive one.

Hope your Twilight adventure was a lot of fun, Sarah, and best of luck with the book, Sheila!

Sheila said...

Thanks one and all for your good wishes. And happy Thanksgiving!

Ginny M. Christensen said...

A bargain shopper - a girl after my own heart. Now this, is something I can relate to!

Loved the excerpt. Sheila, I will be putting this on my "must have list."

Thanks, once again, Sarah, for bringing us another insightful interview. You always do such a great job!

Margaret Tanner said...

Nice interview, Shirley and Sarah.

Monya Clayton said...

Rats, I keep running into that 'Never Give Up' quote. Well, with two books published at least I've started. For the nitty gritty of the next two I have to keep recalling the 'never give up'!

And thanks, Sheila, for your woman-friendly work. We're all bargain hunters by nature, and just from that small example I see you're an author who's into the pysche of the ordinary girl. (Er, even if she's in her sixties).

Diane Craver said...

Great interview and liked what you said about promo. With different personalities, writers have a lot of ways to promote their books and aren't limited to one thing. I enjoyed your excerpt, too! I want to read your book!

My daughter is also excited about seeing "New Moon" this weekend.

Diane Craver said...

Forgot to mention that I remember watching Oklahoma at the Drive-In with my parents and sister. I fell in love with Gordon Macrae. Geez, how many years ago was that - I remember the food, too, at intermission. LOL

Cari Quinn said...

Awesome interview! Sheila, it's great to meet you! :)