**CONGRATULATIONS LYNNE ROBERTS for winning an autographed book of BUNCO BABE TELLS ALL by Maria Geraci! You'll be contacted shortly. If you didn't leave an email addy, please email me at jaxcassidy@gmail.com.**

I love interviewing authors I've met and authors I call friend. A lot of interesting things happen at conferences and you'd have to show up to find out...Anyway, I love attending these week long or weekend events to meet the people I've been corresponding with via email for years. Mostly, I love the connection I have with other authors who share a common career path and desire to succeed. When Maria and I met up in Washington, she kept me laughing and she's the most down-to-earth person you'll ever meet. Contrary to what people believe, authors have to keep their day jobs until they hit it big and it could be a while. I admire her work ethic and commend her for being a nurse. She's smart, funny, and very personable--the type of person you can go out to dinner with and chat all night. Her books have the same fun and intimate feel and I hope that you'll pick one up. I'm telling you, it's a great read when you're curled up during those cold, rainy (or snowy) nights. Stoke the fires, have a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa because you'll keep turning the pages and forgetting the craziness around you...

Now for the interview :)

What made you decide to write about Bunco and what exactly is this game (for those who are unfamiliar with it?

Bunco is a fast paced dice game, usually played by women. Think of a guy’s poker night, but substitute margaritas for the beer and gossip for the cigars. Plus, there’s prizes.

I’ve played Bunco for over 16 years now. It’s a totally fun girl time and a great way to de-stress. When I decided to write a women’s fiction novel, Bunco seemed like the perfect backdrop. Think Bunco meets Sex in the City, and voila! You have my Bunco Babes!

How did you come up with the concept of your series? Was this your first project, if not, how many manuscripts did you write before you took a chance on this?

I wrote 2 historicals before I wrote BUNCO BABES TELL ALL. The first one was terrible- my first ever attempt at writing. The 2nd historical was much better. That manuscript was a finalist in the American Title 2 contest and helped land me an agent.

The concept for the Bunco Babes series actually came to me at the RWA convention in Reno. I was out with friends at dinner and had on my “lucky” Bunco bracelet. I looked down at it and it came to me in an epiphany. I had to write about a group of friends who’ve played Bunco every week for the past 10 years, but one of them was still single… etc, etc… You get my drift.

What have you learned most about the publishing industry since you began? How much has the economy impacted your career?

Wow, that’s a loaded question since I knew absolutely nothing about publishing before I decided to write! And what I knew before I sold would fill an ocean. I guess the most important thing I’ve learned is to always expect the unexpected. People come and go, an idea that seemed “hot” one day, isn’t the next. The only thing you can control about your career is the quality of your writing and your professional attitude.

I’ll be honest, since I sold in a down economy I’m not sure how much it’s impacted my career. I know that my publisher (Berkley) has gone green and that’s reduced paper and postage waste. Personally, I love doing copyedits on the computer. But I would have loved more ARCs, a bigger promotion budget for my book, that kind of thing.

BUNCO BABES GONE WILD is the second book in your Bunco Babe series, can you tell us more about it and share an excerpt of your latest release?

Bunco Babes Gone Wild is the story of a woman who decides to shake up her boyfriend after he presents her with a calculator for their 5 year anniversary (instead of the engagement ring she’d been expecting). So she goes to my fictional town of Whispering Bay, Florida, home to the Bunco Babes (the characters I introduced in my first novel, Bunco Babes Tell All) to seek solace and advice from her big sister. She gets a lot more than she bargained for though, and finds herself in the middle of a Bunco feud and a theft. She also meets a hunky new guy she can’t seem to stay away from. All in all, it’s a sexy, humorous, light women’s fiction story.

Here’s an excerpt:

Dave pulled off his jeans. Underneath he had on a pair of board shorts. Georgia crossed her arms over her chest. “That’s a bathing suit.”

“You sound disappointed.”

“Well, I’m not.”

He gave her a look that said he didn’t believe her. “Your turn.”

“I’m not stripping down to my underwear.”

“Suit yourself.” He walked out the sliding glass doors and onto the beach.

Georgia watched, blatantly jealous as he dove into the cool blue water.

He made her feel prudish. But she wasn’t a prude. There was just something… unnerving about him. Like she was betraying Spencer. Which was ridiculous. Dave had absolutely nothing over Spencer. Spencer was classically handsome, smooth, successful, smart, urbane, thoughtful (well, most of the time).

Dave on the other hand, was just sort of good looking. Sure, he had a nice butt and every once in a while he could be funny, but he was like beer. It was tasty, but who wanted beer if you could have champagne? And she was definitely a champagne kind of girl.

If Dave could strip down to almost nothing, then so could she. Besides, he’d already seen her boobs. And it wasn’t like she was naked. She was wearing a bra and underwear. Her bikini was a lot more revealing than—

Her fingers froze on the jeans zipper.

Shit. She’d forgotten she was wearing granny panties.

But that was good, wasn’t it? It was in no way revealing. Or sexy. Or anything remotely connected to sexy.

She bit her bottom lip. What if Dave thought this was the sort of underwear she wore all the time? She craned her neck to see him floating on top of the calm water. It looked absolutely blissful.

A river of sweat ran down her back, pooling into her already damp jeans.

The hell with it. What did she care what Dave Hernandez thought of her underwear?


How tumultuous was your writing journey and where do you hope to see your career going?

I don’t think I’d call my journey tumultuous. I’m probably pretty lucky by most standards. It took me 5 years to get the “call” but I don’t think I was ready earlier than that.

I hope to continue to sell books, gain more fans, become a better writer. And of course, get bigger advances!

Writers either work alone or with a group of other writers. Do you have a posse you write with and do they write in the same genre you do? Do you meet them for writer dates?

I write alone, but I have a great group of supportive friends. My local RWA chapter meets once a month and of course, there’s fabulous online networking. I can’t imagine how writers did it before the computer age. It must have been very lonesome! I have a couple of critique partners who I depend on to give me advice, but they don’t live near me, so again, thank God for the internet!

What should readers expect to see from you in the future? Will you ever write outside of the contemporary genre?

I’m working on a new women’s fiction novel titled THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB. It will come out early 2011 from Berkley. It’s quirky and hopefully funny and sexy, like my Bunco books.

I began by writing historical romance, but I don’t really see myself going back to it. However, you never know, right?

When you sold your first book, how did you feel and what did you do to celebrate?

I was sick with the flu, so I “celebrated” by going to bed and sleeping. Honest! I wish I could describe the feeling when my agent called to tell me I’d sold. It was part relief, part disbelief, part haze (maybe because of the cold medicine I was on!), but honestly, I’ll never forget it. It was like a dream come true.

You threw a crazy fun Bunco Bash at the Romantic Times Convention, do you plan on doing another at RT next year? Don’t hold out on me.

I loved throwing that Bunco Bash! It was so much fun, and I wish I could do it again. But unfortunately, I’m not. The timing on my release just doesn’t make it financially prudent since I won’t have a Bunco book to promote next year.

If you were a nail polish, what would it be called and why?

I’d be “Clear and Shiny.” Because what you see is what you get with me. And of course, I have such a shiny, fun disposition.

Any advice for our writers or parting words for our readers?

Keep writing. Write what you love and don’t ever give up!

About Maria:

Maria Geraci was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised on Florida’s Space Coast. Her love of books started with the classic, Little Women (a book she read so often growing up, she could probably quote).She lives with her husband and their children in north Florida where she works part-time as a labor and delivery nurse by night and writes romance full time during the day (sleep is not an option). Her first book, Bunco Babes Tell All, a sexy, funny women’s fiction story debuted in May, 2009. The follow-up, Bunco Babes Gone Wild, comes out in November. Maria is currently working on a romantic comedy scheduled for an early 2011 release date. You can visit her website at www.mariageraci.com.

Comments (11)

On October 22, 2009 at 8:46 AM , Maria Geraci said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Jax! And for hosting me on your blogsite:)

On October 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM , Little_Dhampir91 said...

Wise and very inspiring words from an author such as yourself...

Plus, I can't wait to read your books and they sound perfect to read during a time like this.

Someday I too, would love to become a writer and I'm currently half-way done with my manuscript.

Anyway, keep up the good work!!

<3 Erin

On October 22, 2009 at 10:36 AM , Maria Geraci said...

Erin, if you're working on a manuscript, then you ARE a writer! Don't give up. The hardest part is finishing that 1st manuscript. Good luck!

On October 22, 2009 at 10:49 AM , Jax Cassidy said...

I agree with Maria. I think that if you are writing, you can call yourself a writer. :)

Maria--everything I said is all TRUE!

On October 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM , Lynne Roberts said...

Maria, I've never played Bunco but it sounds interesting.

The excerpt is wonderful. It definitely makes you want to read more.

Wonderful interview, Jax and Maria!

On October 22, 2009 at 12:03 PM , robynl said...

I've heard of Bunco but have never played and don't know how the game works. But this does sound lke a very interesting story. I love that this is a series where we can keep in touch with the friends we make in the first book.


On October 22, 2009 at 12:11 PM , Kate Pearce said...

I was THERE at that dinner when Maria came up with the Bunco idea-I feel so special. And she is a wonderful warm person, a good friend, a merciless critiquer and a fabulous writer :)

On October 22, 2009 at 2:59 PM , Maria Geraci said...

Lynne and Robynl, Bunco is a blast. Once you start playing you don't want to stop!

Kate, I've told that story so many times now in different interviews. I wish we could redo that night again! So much fun! (although the food wasn't very good if you recall!)

On October 22, 2009 at 8:12 PM , Rain Maiden said...

Me and my girl-friends get together for Bingo once a month. I have never played Bunco. I know how women get when bunched together. Good times, Good times. Bunco Babe sounds wonderful.

On October 23, 2009 at 12:51 AM , Lori T said...

Hi Maria~

Bunco...I have heard of this but never played before. Your Bunco Babes books sound very good and I would love to be entered...I have added you to my need to buy list. I am even more excited that this is part of a series. I love series where you get to revisit characters that you have met before.

On October 23, 2009 at 9:36 AM , Kristen Painter said...

I can't wait to read the second book because I couldn't put the first one down!