Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Once in a Blue Moon by Amie Stuart

Title: Once in a Blue Moon
Author: Amie Stuart
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2015
At eighteen, Ty Boudreaux married his high school sweetheart and planned to live happily ever after on the family ranch. But after twelve years in a volatile, one-sided marriage, this gentle cowboy is struggling to put his life back together.

At eighteen, Bettina Blanchard’s goal in life had been to shake the dust of Bluebonnet, Texas off her heels, and with her baby sister now safely in college, that dream is within her grasp. But underneath Bad Betti’s tough exterior beats the heart of a woman with hopes and dreams, and she’s loved Ty almost as long as he loved his ex-wife.

When fate drops Ty in her lap, one night of passion leaves them dealing with a pregnancy and a marriage both have reservations about. Can a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and Bluebonnet’s favorite son find common ground outside the bedroom? Despite the interfering in-laws, a jealous baby sister and a holiday no one wants to remember, Betti and Ty discover that even though their happily ever after doesn’t come easy, anything worth having is worth working for.

     The days and weeks after my run-ins with Rhea and Ty floated by in a haze of tears, ice cream and anything else I could shove in my mouth. I’d never in my life been so in the dumps over a man but repeated self-scoldings and peptalks did no good.
     I had come to think of my life in terms of BT—before Ty and AT—after Ty.
     The first few weeks AT, I’d alternated between nausea and binge eating. Definitely not like me; however, I’d never had my heart well and truly broken before. Squashed and beaten like a flower in a South Texas flash flood. This was unquestionably new territory for me and at first, I allowed myself to mope, eat, and cry. But things didn’t seem to improve. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pull myself out of my funk, and continued eating and crying...and sleeping. I was depressed.
     My depression lifted at the oddest incident. But even that didn’t last long. The week after I blacked Rhea’s eye I came home to find my grass had been cut. Totally not out of the ordinary since I paid my neighbor’s sons to cut and bag for me. The Jackson brothers—a couple of twelve year old, fair-haired imps were always looking to make a dime.
     About time, too. They were a week past due.
     On my way to work the next morning I stuffed an envelope with their pay in the mailbox, figuring their mother would give it to them. And a couple weeks later we repeated our song and dance.
     Late in August, just before school started, their mom, who was the source of their blonde hair and always looked frazzled, showed up on my doorstep with both envelopes. And that’s when I got tickled.
     "Betti, I’m sorry to bother you, but I found these in my mail."
     "Oh Bev, that was for the boys mowing my grass. I hadn’t seen you around, so I just left their money in your mailbox."
     "Well, see now, that’s the thing. The boys left July 1 to go spend the rest of the summer with their daddy up in Wichita Falls. Then my mama got sick a week later, and I’ve been in Alabama. Sally Truesdale’s been collecting all my mail and watering my yard. I just got back last week, and I’m still trying to set my house straight."
     "So, who cut my grass?" Frowning, I stepped out on my porch and looked around. Like the mysterious grass cutter would still be nearby.
     "I have no clue, but Sally did mention she’d seen Ty Boudreaux pass through here quite a bit lately."
     What in the hell was Sally Truesdale smoking? Bev wasn’t one to gossip...but she was a woman. And Sally was always in the know. We eyed each other in the porch light, both of us fully aware my response would be reported to Sally and then repeated all over town.
     "Why in the world would Ty Boudreaux come around here?" Least said; least spread was my motto. "This isn’t his side of town." I put on my best "I have no clue," frown and crossed my arms. Thank God it was dark out.
      "She said she saw him more than once." Bev could fish ‘till the cows came home. "I hear he’s been having a lot of trouble since Rhea up and left him."
     My lips were sealed.
     But if Sally had seen him, then who else had? No way was I going to try and find out first-hand what Sally knew, or worse, canvas the neighbors to find out if anyone had actually seen Ty mowing my grass. And honestly, why would he?
     Mowing a woman’s grass while she wasn’t home had to be the most insane thing I’ve ever heard of. Right?

When I came up with the idea for Bettina Blanchard (Boudreaux), I wanted a strong, independent woman who lived her life by her own rules. I had no idea that those rules would be quite so literal. Nor did I realize that those rules would end up being such a big part of a later book (coming in October). But they were, and they are and the positive feedback I’ve gotten on them from readers makes me think that they should be shared. The key here is, at least in the fictional world of Bluebonnet, if you find yourself breaking most of these rules (for a man), then you should probably marry him. :D
So here they are (and some need no explanation):
Never sleep with a boy from Bluebonnet
Be discreet – Betti’s mother was the town drunk.
Have fun – because life is short
Keep it Light – because life is short! Don’t let yourself get all tangled up over a man
Women in love do stupid things – don’t be stupid but if you are, forgive yourself, course correct and move on.
Be Prepared – for a wide variety of things, including protected sex!
If you can’t go to his place, don’t let him sleep in your bed.
Never beg, whine or in any way, cling – See rules 3 and 4
Don’t nag – you can be a b*tch at any given time. That’s a woman’s divine right but state your case and move on
Don’t ask questions you don’t know the answer to – kind of like being a lawyer
Your best girlfriend is worth her weight in ice cream (Even if she laughs at you for taking four pregnancy tests) – this needs no explanation
Never mix business with pleasure
Good sex is important and while we’re at it, size does matter
Never Ever, under any circumstances, say the “L” word during sex
Love doesn’t equal happiness

So what are some of your favorite “rules” or words of wisdom that you live by and/or have shared??

Where did you come up with the idea of a fictional town named Bluebonnnet? 
Besides the fact that I’m a native Texan and the bluebonnet is our state flower, I liked the idea of creating my own town. However, I didn’t ever want my fictional town confused with a real one sooo I went hunting for a good name for my town. There’s a database somewhere—it’s been a while—that allows you to search for city/town names by state. Lucky for me, there isn’t really a Bluebonnet, Texas—but don’t tell my characters.

Is Betti a plus-sized woman?
Yes, Betti is a plus-sized woman. When I was writing the first book in the series, I watched Ty’s marriage break up (as a secondary plotline). It broke my heart. I love Ty and yes, I wanted to fix him. As an author, I can do that. I wanted him to have someone who a) loved him as much as he loved Rhea and b) someone who was the exact opposite of him. I also wanted to write a story about a plus-sized women where HER SIZE was NOT an issue.

Are all your books about plus-sized women?
No! I write a wide variety of characters from a wide variety of backgrounds!

How did you come up with the title?
Actually, the original title was Cowboys Don’t Cry. I was searching for an agent, many moons ago, and decided to go with something that wasn’t quite so … depressing. Once in a Blue Moon just struck me and it fit—plus Blue Moon is the name of Betti’s salon. :D

Alpha, Beta, Gamma males….as a reader and as a writer, what’s your preference and why?
To be honest, I don’t think we consciously choose to write certain characters in certain ways. At least, I don’t think I do. As a writer, I’m definitely more drawn to Beta and Gamma males. Maybe it’s because I come from a line of Alpha women?!?!? LOL Ty is definitely more Beta but that doesn’t mean he’s weak—though some might think so, given what he’s been through as well as what he goes through. I’ll be honest, as a reader, flawed and even broken male characters (who triumph over adversity) are my reading crack :D (Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent comes to mind as one of my all-time faves—he had a horrible childhood and is dyslexic but triumphed over all of that).

What’s next? Will there be more Bluebonnet books?
Right now I’m hard at work editing…the next Bluebonnet book. It’s actually a novella and I’ve been calling it Bluebonnet 2.5. It’ll be released in June and is Zander Boudreauxes story (that’s Ty’s older brother). I’m also working on a Bluebonnet spinoff that’ll be released in August!

Author Bio:
Amie Stuart is the last of a dying breed, a native Texan, and still makes her home there, where cowboys and music (her other two loves) abound. Growing up, she wanted to be a lawyer and a psychologist. No doubt the shrinks would have a field day with her head, but she's seen the error of her ways and considers all those other jobs 'research' for the writing gig.

She's a multiple contest finalist as well as a trained contest judge and is affectionately know as The Terminator by her critique partners. She's written as CELIA STUART for Black Lace Books, & Liquid Silver Books, and as AMIE STUART for Kensington Aphrodisia, she has a short story (PEACHES 'N CREAM) in Zane's CARMEL FLAVA 2, and launched Cobblestone Press's short erotica line,Wicked in 2007.

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