Liz: You're going to be running between appointments all day, with lots of hurry-up-and-wait time. You're going to read while you wait. What writer will keep you sane and entertained all day?
Gemma: First, thank you for inviting me over today. I’ve been looking forward to visiting for several weeks now! Laura Griffin is my go to writer lately. She writes high tech romantic suspense a la CSI. Her writing is tight, solid and draws me in like nobody’s business.
Nan: Sounds like a winner! Look back and choose a life-changing moment you'd like to tell us about.
Gemma: When my kids were in high school, I decided it was important for me to be at home after school for them. So I quit my full time job. But I needed something to fill the hours they were in school, so I began writing.
Kristina: I love your books, Gemma, so I'm glad you found writing!! What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
Gemma: The importance of being a friend. Maya Angelou said it best… “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Margie: This is very true. If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?
Gemma: My grandmother, Gemma. When I was young, my father interviewed her on tape about her life. We found the tape when I was visiting him once and converted it to cd. Hearing her voice after so many years moved both of us to tears. I’d like to find out more about her life and what my dad was like as a kid.
Liz: What a great memory! Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life? Tell me about them.
Gemma: I’d have to say my high school algebra teacher, but not because I loved math. Truly, I suck at all things number-wise. When I was in her class, she frightened me and consequently, I didn’t like her. But I worked at a grocery store that she frequented and got to know her outside the school environment and found I really liked her. I let my fear rule me when here was a woman intent only on helping me learn. I try very hard to not let that happen anymore.
Nan: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing and if so, what were they?
Gemma: I’ve been very fortunate that my family supports my career, so I have to say no, I haven’t made many sacrifices.
Kristina: Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?
Gemma: Gosh, that’s a hard question. I’d probably go with the poorly written, excellent story book. I’m all about the plot.
Margie: Do you believe a writer should write every day?
Gemma: Not at all. I believe you need to allow yourself time to recharge your creative batteries. Now, if the need to write on any given day is strong, your Muse must be speaking to you and you should listen. But I typically will not write daily.
Liz: And now for my favorite question: Name three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with. Where would go and what would you ask them?
Gemma: First, Madonna. I’d like to meet her at Claridge’s or the Ritz in London I’d ask her what the heck she was thinking when she agreed to the Sex coffee table book back in 1992. Second, I’d love to meet Abraham Lincoln in Springfield Illinois to talk about race equality and relations. And third, I’d take George R.R. Martin out to the woodshed to make him tell me why he is compelled to kill all my favorite characters.
Thanks for hosting me today. I really enjoyed answering your questions. I’m curious about your followers answer to question #8. That is really intriguing to me.
All right, readers, you can answer Gemma's question (would you rather read a book that is poorly written but with an excellent story or a book with weak content but that is well written?) in the comments...and now for a sneak peek into Bed of Roses:
With the right amount of nurturing, love will bloom
This close to Valentine’s Day Malin Eckert’s flower shop is entering their busiest season. As if the added work isn’t enough, her father’s drinking has spiraled out of control and Mal discovers she’s been named guardian of a fifteen-year-old sibling she never knew about. To make matters worse, Mal’s crushing on a customer, a serial dater who drops by the shop with alarming regularity to send flowers to other women.
Gunnar Sims never had the best luck with women, a fact that doesn’t stop his growing attraction to his florist. His new business is losing money and he should be concentrating on that, but instead finds Mal an enticing distraction.
In spite of her best intentions to keep Gunnar firmly in the friend zone, Mal finds herself falling for the classically handsome gym owner. As her affection for Gunnar and her sister, Gabriella, grows, Mal’s heart hangs in the balance when it appears both could be taken away from her.
Content Warning: Hard bodies, spoiled princesses, and a levelheaded woman who knows how to smell the roses.
Malin squinted her eyes at him. “I beg your pardon?”
Gunnar had seen that look on his sister’s face enough times to know he’d said the wrong thing. But the way the society bitch had treated the shopkeeper rankled him. “What the hell is her problem? Who does the old broad think she is?”
“Gunnar, Mrs. Aubrey-Smith is the customer. That means she is always right. She knows it and doesn’t hold back making sure I know, too. I’m used to her ways.” Malin crossed her arms and rested her hip against the counter.
Aubrey-Smith? He knew that name. He’d had an interest in Ashleigh, the old bat’s daughter. Until he’d learned she was engaged. Ashleigh’s promise to another man apparently wasn’t enough to keep her from flirting with every other male in sight. Thankfully, he’d dodged that bullet. He shook his head, then turned his attention back to Malin.
He liked the way Malin looked at him. Even when she was angry. Her ice blue, almond-shaped eyes, fringed with thick black eyelashes, were direct and curious, as if she’d found a new specimen of flower that required closer examination. As he stared at her, she reached up and tucked her chin-length white-blond hair behind her ear. How the hell had he not realized before how pretty she was?
Malin possessed the peaches-and-cream complexion many of his female relatives shared. Her skin was flawless except for the angry red scratch just below the apple of her cheek. He’d be willing to bet if he touched her face, he’d feel satin. He tucked his hand into his pocket, a paltry effort to curb the urge. Touching someone the way he wanted to touch her went beyond being just friends. And he’d like this woman as a friend. For now. It was entirely possible that sentiment would evolve if his body’s reaction could be trusted.
Gunnar shifted his weight onto one leg, bumping his knee against the wooden panel of the cash wrap. “Being the customer is no excuse for bad manners. And she could win a gold medal in the Bad Manners Olympics. That witch owes you an apology.”
Malin’s fast grin dazzled him. “Can I tell you something? She was on her best behavior today, but you should have kept your mouth shut. I had her eating out of my hand until you butted in.”
“I suppose if your hand was her lunch maybe. It didn’t look like it was under control to me. I was trying to help.”
“You failed miserably, buttercup. But, no harm, no foul. I got what I wanted in the end. I proposed the alternative bouquet to the bride months ago, and she loved it. But Mama vetoed it because it wasn’t her original idea.”
Buttercup? Yeah, well, two could play that game. “I thought mentioning Princess Di’s wedding shoes was a stroke of genius, Daisy Mae.”
She tipped her head back and laughed. A shot of lust speared lodged just south of his belt buckle. He shifted to ease the sudden constriction in his trousers.
“I have moments of brilliance, and the shoes were just one of them.” She fiddled with the strings of her apron, but her eyes remained on his face. “What’s up? How can I help you today?”
Damn, talk about a loaded question. For the life of him, he could only think of one way she could help him. He gave a mental groan and focused. “Um…I need a dozen roses. Do you have any in orange?”
All About Gemma:
Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a vocation as a romance author.