Author Melody DeBlois is partial to poetry, sun, rain, strong coffee, and her writing room where she’s surrounded by books. Undercover in Venice Beach is the second in the Love is a Beach series.
Why do you write?
You mean I don’t have to? I’m teasing. I started telling tales as soon as I was old enough for my mother to read to me. She’d shut the book, tuck me in, switch off the light, and my own stories took off from there.
What’s the fun part of writing and why?
The best part of writing happens after several drafts when the magic threads its way into the story, and all that hitting my head against a brick wall turns out to be worth it.
Why did you write this particular book you’re talking about today? Originally, I wrote it as a time travel: An eighteenth century poet is horrified when he arrives in the present and comes across text jargon. I attended a writer’s conference where I pitched my first book That April in Santa Monica to an editor. She liked it and asked if I’d written anything else, so I told her about the poet. She had a book series in mind and wanted me to turn the time travel into a contemporary romance. Thus, Undercover in Venice Beach was born—well, after a gazillion drafts anyway.
The length of time it takes for me to write a good book. I am not like the majority. I don’t whip a book out in a month. Oh, I can get 80,000 words during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). But it takes me a long time to make the pages good enough for me to share. I’m always trying to learn a way of speeding up my writing process but not with much luck.
How do you get to know your readers?
The funny thing is, my biggest fans are the kids, now grown, who listened to my stories when they were little and are happy and inspired that I realized my dream.
Blurb for Undercover in Venice Beach, Book 2 in the Love is a Beach Series.
By trading places with her twin, Audrey Powell has the opportunity she’s always wanted, running her late mother’s teahouse. When she fails to create food that delights the palate, she hires Liam James–a sexy-as-sin Brit with a flair for cooking. He tries to seduce her with titillating dishes and his charm, but she’s vowed to steer clear of romance. Working undercover, Liam’s mission is to keep an eye on the teahouse. He poses as a chef to catch the traitor who is leaking UK security secrets. The last thing he wants to do is fall for a suspect, but when sparks fly, the romance starts to feel all too real.
The taglines: “The art of tea, poetry, and intrigue.”
A plain Jane trades places with her glamorous twin and reluctantly falls in love with a cook who is actually a British spy.”
Excerpt from Undercover in Venice Beach
An excerpt: Liam pointed to the recipe, and when she reluctantly did as instructed, he said, “Add the wet butter and milk to the mix and beat until you get rid of the lumps.”
“Too bad I can’t rid myself of the lumps in my so-called life.”
“You’ll get them smoothed out.” He slid in back of her and took her hand, demonstrating the motion, tempting her to nestle against his chest. His Iron Man chest. “Just keep trying, luv.”
“Aye, the cranberries. You can spot a bad one from the others because it shows a wrinkle.” He picked out a specimen, displaying it to her on his palm. “See, not unlike the line you get between your brows when you’re deep in thought.”
She rubbed the bridge of her nose. “I do?”
He sent her an all-male grin. “Captivating, actually.”
He wiped flour from her face with a dishrag and plopped some cranberries in her mouth. She bit down, the tangy sweetness thrilling her taste buds, the sexy man challenging her vow to stay clear of him. But the very act of his helping her spoon the batter into tins pulled her deeper into his center, a universe composed of his culinary magic and kindness. His large hands and strong arms made her feel fragile and protected from the outside world. She remained there, a participant in sensations, till the bells over the entrance clanged together like dropped silverware.
The dog in the story is Percy, named after the poet Percy Shelley.
About the Author
Melody lives in Sacramento (the City of Trees). She writes romance novels. She’s partial to poetry, sun, rain, strong coffee, and her writing room surrounded by books. Besides California, she and her late husband lived part-time in a condo in Oregon overlooking the Pacific. That gave her a love for beach towns and whale-watching and sunsets—all the things that inspire the Love is a Beach series. The writing process fascinates her, the alchemy of layering and developing characters, the tinkering with language. There’s so much to treasure in the world: family, friends, and those random, everyday moments that make life grand. She hopes to give her readers all of that.
Buy Melody’s books at your favorite bookstore!
Speed Round: Melody’s quick answers!
Favorite movie: Sleepless in Seattle
Favorite book: The Green Mile by Stephen King
Last book read: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Favorite color: Blue
Stilettos or flipflops or sneakers: Nike Zoom Structure 22
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Ebook or audiobook or paperback: Audiobook
Pencil or pen: Pen.
Favorite song: “Sunrise Sunset”
Steak or not: Seafood
Favorite dessert: Hot fudge Sundae
Favorite junk food: Nachos
Favorite thing to do to relax: Swim laps
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Paranormal or Historical: Paranormal
Wonder Woman or Top Model: Wonder Woman
Favorite TV show: Friends
Hot or cold: Hot
I’d die if I didn’t have: An Olympic size swimming pool near me to swim my laps.
My character would die if she didn’t have: Liam