Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Beverly Preston to Caribbean Accent Book Reviews. 😀
Beverly’s debut novel “No More Wasted Time” has become an instant classic and is actually the first in a four-book series.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with NMWT, here’s the book blurb:
“After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning. Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess. Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride. Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet. As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?”
On to the interview 🙂
BP: Thank you for having me, Sasha!
CABR: Happy to have you over Beverly.
NMWT was released seven (7) months ago. How has your life changed since then, both professionally and personally?
BP: My life has changed drastically! I’ve been a Domestic Engineer, aka stay at home mom, for twenty years and I now consider myself an Author. Granted, my husband and I worked together for years designing and building custom homes, but this is my personal baby.
When I finished “No More Wasted Time”, I didn’t know if I’d be able to write another book, but by removing the Epilog it set me up for the Mathews/Clemmins series. Personally, I’ve gained a sense of empowerment through writing and I’ve come to realize that I’m very driven. The fact that my children are growing up and leaving the nest doesn’t hurt either. So for right now, I’m searching for balance in my writing, promoting, family, friends and making time to spin. I’m addicted to my spin bike.
CABR: Spin bike you say. I’m impressed.
Lots of people fell in love with Tess Matthews and Tom Clemmins from NMWT and are looking forward to your next book. Are the other three books in this four-book series about a completely new set of characters or are they connected to Tess and Tom?
BP: Each book will highlight a different family member, as it a series about the family. All of your favorite characters will play a part and readers can look forward to meeting many new exciting additions! Book two is Shayla Clemmins’ story.
CABR: Great news for NMWT fans.
You decided to self-publish your book on CreateSpace. Why’d you choose this route?
BP: Like so many other newbies, I had no idea what I was doing. I sent out several rounds of query letters and got tired of being rejected. After attending Arizona Dreamin’ a writer/readers event, I came home with a new found attitude of “Hey I can do this myself!”
Shortly after that, cover model Jimmy Thomas spoke at my local RWA meeting about branding and promotion. I left that meeting, drove home, bought my domain, made a webpage and exactly three months later I published NMWT. CreateSpace gave me the tools to format my paperbacks.
CABR: That’s inspiring Beverly 😀
Who helped you decide what to edit and when the book was ‘ready’?
BP: I used Natasha at SPJ Editing for critiquing and editing. I fully admit that I didn’t listen to all of Natasha’s suggestions. My story is a bit non-traditional and I like it that way, so all of the final decisions were mine. My daughter Caylee and I did final edits and she also did my formatting and uploading too. I owe her!
It took me a year to write my story and another year and half to make it perfect. I joined the Las Vegas RWA and attended several writers groups and workshops. I became a sponge, determined to learn at least one thing from every meeting. I’m still soaking it up!
CABR: Your dedication to getting it right shows in the many positive reviews and fan comments I’ve come across for NMWT.
Have you attended any author conventions?
BP: I’ve attended Arizona Dreamin’ for the last two years. It’s a romance reader event and I love going! The women are wonderful and I’ve made dozens of friends. I have gained some wonderful readership from online book clubs and a group called, What to read after Fifty Shades of Grey. Ladies, if you’re reading this, you rock!
CABR: Aww. Be sure to let them know to stop on by then. 🙂
Were you awestruck upon meeting any particular authors? Were you able to ‘keep it together’?
BP: Well…Lisa Kleypas wasn’t there so I managed to keep my wits about me!
OK, let’s shake things up a bit…
If you could be someone else for a day, from any time in history, who would you be and why?
BP: This question stumped me, so I decided to go with sentimental humor and say Penelope Pussycat from Pepe Le Pew! She has a great swish to her tail!
CABR: I love it. 🙂
Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s, would you like to spend time with and why?
BP: Holy cowboy, Hardy Cates from Lisa Kleypas’s “Blue-Eyed Devil”! He’s hard working and sexy as hell all wrapped together with a Texas accent!
CABR: That sure seems to be a popular book. Guess it’s a sign I need to add it to my TBR.
You have four children of varying ages. Have they had any funny stories about how they’ve told people what you do for a living?
BP: My oldest son is 22, I have boy/girl twins that are 19 and my youngest daughter is 12. My older kids totally pimp me out! My youngest had three favorite teachers last year, so you can imagine what they received on Teacher Appreciation Day. Each teacher asked her, “Have you read it?” She handed them the carefully wrapped package and replied, “I’m not allowed to read it until I’m 16.”
CABR: Your 12-year-old is adorably funny. 😀
Beverly has agreed to share an EXCERPT from “No More Wasted Time” below. Enjoy.
Tess had never been so audacious in her life. Asking Tom to ditch his date to meet her for dinner wasn’t her style, but today, she didn’t care. She wanted Tom more than she could’ve ever imagined. Loving another man was something she knew she’d never be capable of, and Tom Clemmins wasn’t the kind of man who fell in love. But for the first time in her life, a carefree vacation full of passion, lust and great sex might be just what she needed.
The guilt she felt subsided. I’m not cheating on Richard. Nothing I do now will change the fact that I was a faithful wife. Whether he meets me for dinner or not, I’m not going to be miserable any more. It’s time to move forward and be happy.
Anxiety kicked in as she took her time getting ready. She swept her dark brown hair across her eyes, and gathered the rest loosely in a sterling silver clip. What if he doesn’t show? He probably acts like this with every woman. He’s a total flirt. What the hell was I thinking? Great, I just made a complete ass out of myself…again.
She rummaged through her clothes, finally deciding on a scoop neck black dress showing off all those hours Tracy had dragged her out of bed to run. Thanks to the Tahitian motto, No Shoes Required, Tess usually went barefoot. She put on her cutest black sandals and silver hoop earrings before heading out the door.
Tess took the five-minute boat ride to the main island. She meandered down the barely paved road, passing several dive shops and restaurants. I hope he shows. Then what? Will he come back to my bungalow? Will he ditch his date and stay with me? I haven’t slept with another man in twenty-five years. The possibility of a mere kiss, let alone going to bed with him, fueled a fire within her.
When she reached Bloody Mary’s, several couples entered, but she didn’t see Tom. She paced back and forth outside. Should I wait outside or go in?
The deep sexy voice came from behind and she turned to see Tom leaning against a palm tree, looking more gorgeous than she thought humanly possible.
“Hey.” She beamed, sauntering over to join him under the palm tree.
“You look stunning.”
“Thanks, handsome.” She scanned over his flip-flops, jeans and nice black shirt. “I hoped you would show,” she stammered anxiously.
He held her hands in his. “Before you say anything Tess, I need to ask you something, and I don’t want you to get upset with me. All right?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this? I mean, are you really ready to be with another man because this isn’t something I want you to regret later.”
She gazed into his dark eyes and considered his question. “Yes, I’m sure. I want to stay with you, for the rest of my trip.” She clarified with a slight nod.
His cocked his head to one side. “So if I told you right now, at this very moment, all of your belongings are being packed up and brought to another resort, you’d be okay with that?”
“That depends. Are all of your things being packed up and taken to the same resort?” she questioned timidly.
“Yes, whether you decide to stay with me or not. I sent my date home. I changed resorts and I’d like it if you’d stay with me.”
“Are you hungry?”
Hungry for you. “Actually, I’m starving from all the snorkeling today.”
“Do you have your heart set on eating here? I had something a little different in mind.”
Room service in bed? “Wherever you want to have dinner is fine with me.”
“I was hoping you’d say that. I have a surprise for you.” Tom led her across the street to a boat dock. “After you.” He held his hand out to the side so she could step onto the boat before him.
“Where are we going?”
“I think you’ll like it.”
The Tahitian man introduced himself. “Ia Orana, I am Mr. Rene’s cousin. My name is Tayia.”
“Ia Orana,” Tess said.
The boat skimmed across the lagoon, casting ripples through the reflection of the fiery sunset. Cool, moist spray tingled her warm face. She sat between Tom’s legs and leaned back against his chest. I haven’t done this in so long. I hope he’s a good lover. Please, please, please be good in bed. She glanced over her shoulder and he grinned at her. Crap! Is he sitting here wondering if I’m going to be a good lover? Tess sat up a little taller. Oh, I am definitely going to be good for him.
With every draw of breath, her chest lifted and lowered. Tom must’ve noticed her nervousness. He placed his palm over her heart. She felt the hint of his smile as he nuzzled her neck.
She inhaled the scent of his skin. “You smell delicious.”
Tom held her arm out to the side and lowered his nose to the inside of her elbow. “So do you.”
Her gaze drifted to his profile, watching as his eyes closed, taking in the scent of her perfume. The heat from his breath tickled her skin as his lips pressed against her arm. Tess’ lips parted and her tongue toyed with the corner of her mouth, wanting to taste his mouth.
The boat slowed, interrupting her gaze. Tess couldn’t believe what she saw as they pulled up to a deserted motu. “How did you do this?” she whispered in awe.
Tiki torches surrounded a lovely table set with a white tablecloth and a bouquet of flowers. The setting sun cast a glow on the white sand, turning it nearly pink. She held up her dress a little so it wouldn’t get wet, hopping off the boat.
Tom stood in the sand and wrapped his arms around her. “Do you like it?”
“It’s beautiful.” She turned to face him, reaching her lips up to kiss his.
“Not yet Tess, not yet,” he whispered in a teasing tone.
Slighted by Tom’s response, her eyes filled with disappointment.
“Awe, don’t look at me like that.”
Her expression didn’t change, yearning to feel his lips.
His thumb coasted gently over her cheek. “Do you trust me? Hmm? I trusted you with the sharks. Remember? Will you trust me now?” He brushed his lips against her neck, causing goose bumps to cover her skin.
“Yes, I remember. But-”
“I assure you, I’ll make it worth the wait.” He toyed, whispering in her ear. “I promise I won’t disappoint you.”
She remembered how fantastic his hands felt. “I have no doubt.”