Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Chat with Darcy Lundeen || SIZZLE

Betsy Kincaid has no sexual sizzle.

At least that’s what her boyfriend claimed before he dumped her.

Determined to prove him wrong, Betsy puts learning to sizzle at the top of her to-do list. And who better to provide the lessons she needs than the safe and oh-so- willing gay guy who just moved in with her gay buddy?

Matt Pollard has had his share of disastrous relationships, so when the chance comes to help a foxy lady develop her sexual mojo while also enjoying some no-strings-attached bedroom action, he’s happy to oblige.

Unfortunately, they get more than they bargained for when romantic emotions threaten to complicate their simple arrangement.

Then Betsy discovers Matt isn’t gay. Her sense of betrayal at being misled is matched by his resentment at being blamed for an innocent mistake. But their anger could cost them the thing they both want most: a chance at true love.

* * * * *

Hi, Melissa.

This is my second big “Thanks!” to you for graciously offering me the opportunity to visit you and Snarkology. Last time, I posted some thoughts on the way finishing anything in your life, from planting a garden to completing a book, involves the creative process.

Hi Darcy! Welcome to the Snarkology! It's awesome having you here as my guest. :)

This time, I’m here to answer a few questions about myself. So what would you like to know?

Darcy, please tell us about yourself and your writing.

I’m basically a city girl (all right, to be perfectly accurate about it, I haven’t been a “girl” in a long, long time.) I was born in a city, raised in one, and still live in one.

Professionally, I’m a researcher/writer, with a few random, short-lived jobs along the way that took me into the fields of market research and testing. But in addition to all the research writing I’ve done, there’s also been a lot of attempts at writing fiction. The magnificent 250,000-word novels I completed over the years will attest to my incredible output. Sadly, they also attest to my tendency toward word-count overkill and will remain safely hidden, never to be foisted on an unsuspecting public. My genre of choice is contemporary romance, generally stories that have a comedic edge. In 2012, one of my stories was published by The Wild Rose Press. So after years of trying I finally got lucky.

What does your writing space look like?

When I started answering this question, my first impulse was to say, ‘What writing space?’ because like so many other authors, I’ve had to write under all sorts of conditions: on moving transportation; whipping out a notebook and jotting down snippets of dialogue or description while walking on a busy street; sitting in a corner when the TV is going full blast just a few feet away. I live in a fairly small apartment, so with space at a premium everything has to do double duty work and there’s no room for a separate office. I just have to use whatever area is available. But I still dream of a dedicated space that would allow me the peace and privacy I need to organize my books, notes, and thoughts. At this stage in my writing journey something like that would be sheer heaven.

How do you name your characters?

As a writer of contemporary stories, fortunately I have the luxury of choosing from a multitude of everyday names. I can open a copy of the semi-monthly magazine my former college sends and thumb through pages of class notes that list the names of myriad other former students who post information about their current activities. Or I can access the ever-present internet for seemingly endless lists of both first and last names. And if I need specifically ethnic names, again the internet is there to provide me with countless possibilities. Then I can usually just mix and match to my heart’s content while I try to choose names and name combinations that I feel reflect a character’s personality and background.

So in that way I have it much easier than authors of historical fiction who have to find names that fit a specific time period, or than paranormal authors who have to construct a totally unique world complete with character names that seem perfectly suited to it.

Do you write with music going in the background? What are some of your favorite types/bands?

Usually, I have to write with a lot of noise and activity going on around me. But on those rare occasions when I’m alone, I prefer silence so that I can concentrate on the words and images bouncing around in my brain. However, sometimes when I’m editing, I’ll put on some quiet music, always instrumentals since I’d be too distracted by lyrics to concentrate on my own words. During those times I tend to play classical music, especially pieces by Romantic composers like Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff. But some jazz is also high on my list of favorite music, and I truly love show tunes, though not to listen to when I’m writing.

What is your favorite book genre? Who are your favorite authors?

I love to laugh (I know, who doesn’t?), so I have a partiality for romantic comedies, even those with humor that may verge on the slapstick variety. There are a lot of authors in this genre whose work I love. Gemma Halliday, Janet Evanovich, Alice Clayton, and Tara Sivec, among many others. Jennifer Crusie is a particular favorite. Even some of her more serious books (such as “Tell Me Lies”) still contain quirky elements of humor, and whenever I think of one of her early books (“What the Lady Wants”), I still can’t help chuckling at the famous “men want to open up the west; women want to stay home and keep the east looking nice” exchange that takes place between hero and heroine.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three modern conveniences would you take with you?

Ideally, I’d like to have:

1.  A fully equipped hospital with the best specialists in the world.
2.  A beautifully furnished mansion filled with all the supplies, amenities, and wonderful servants I could want.
3.  An ocean-worthy ship or else a plane (with a skilled pilot, of course) for when I get tired of being stranded and want to go home.

But I don’t think that’s what the question means, so I guess I’ll settle for the following:

1.  A computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. In short, some kind of electronic devise. Yes, internet connection, too, please, and batteries that never run out of juice.
2.   If I’m really stuck on this island, I guess I should be practical, so I’d like one of those survival kits, with packets of all kinds of food, a good quality water purifier, some kind of device to cook the food, a few utensils, a sleeping bag, and (very important) a really topnotch first-aid kit. A comb and some really fine French soap would be good, too (hey, even a stranded girl can’t be practical all the time).
3.  An endless supply of music and books to keep me company.

Favorite food?  Ice cream. I was told that as an infant, after learning to say the normal first words, like “Mama” and “Dada,” one of the earliest additions to my vocabulary was “I-key,” which was my feeble way of demanding ice cream. So I suppose the die was cast very early.
Favorite color?  Blue.
Favorite animal?  I love dogs, too, but cats hold a special place in my heart.
Biggest pet peeve?   Lack of courtesy and attempts to demean other people.
Dream car?  Okay, in the realm of pure fantasy (but if a writer can’t live in fantasyland, then who can?), it would probably be a Rolls Royce that came with a chauffeur.


Now for anyone interested in reading a little of my work, here’s an excerpt from my most recent book, SIZZLE, published by Secret Cravings Publishing.


The first coherent thought that entered Betsy’s mind as she painfully came awake was that somehow she’d made it to bed. The blanket covering her was a dead giveaway. So was the pillow cushioning her aching head. The fact that the broken bedspring that always stuck into her rear was doing it again was another sure sign that her bed was her present location.
Of course, the unfamiliar weight pressing against her side did feel a wee bit strange. Actually, the only thing that felt stranger was her mouth. It felt like she’d spent the last few hours sucking on dirty gym socks.
From the throbbing in her forehead, she sensed it would be a mistake to open her eyes, but she had to find out about that damn weight, so she did it anyway, lifting her lids just a smidge. Yep, definitely a mistake. Light from the window across the room immediately stabbed into her pupils, half blinding her and turning the ache at her temples into a hammering pulse beat.
As she squeezed her eyes shut to block out the glare, she heard a pathetic moan, knew it came from her, and rested for a moment until she could gather up her courage for another foray into the land of the blinding sun. Then, steeling herself against the coming pain, she tried again. Surprisingly, this time, it was better. Not great, but at least now she managed to make out shapes, colors, forms—the shape of her dresser, the colors of the pictures on the wall, the form of the guy sleeping next to her in bed.
Betsy blinked and stared. The guy sleeping next to her in bed! A total stranger, too. She was sure she’d never seen him before, and she hadn’t been with so many men that she wouldn’t recognize a former bedmate when she found one sprawled next to her with one of his long legs draped over hers.

Available for purchase:

Author Bio:

I’ve been a writer and researcher for more years than I like to recall and in that time I’ve worked on topics as diverse as multiple sclerosis and the Soviet Union (when there still was a Soviet Union). In my free time, I enjoy visiting the Ancient Egyptian and Etruscan exhibits in museums, taking long walks, and concocting stories about everyday people who laugh a lot, cry a little, and ultimately find the happily-ever-after they deserve. My debut novel, Finding You Again, was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2012, and my second book, Sizzle, was published by Secret Cravings Publishing in June 2013. I can usually be found at the following sites:

Thanks for letting me make another visit to your blog, Melissa, and of course, a special thank you for, as always, being such a warm and generous host.

You're always welcome, Darcy! :-)


  1. Sounds like a fun read. I'll check it out.

  2. Thanks so much for visiting, Debbie. If you do try my book, I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Hi Darcy,

    Thank you for being my guest today. I enjoyed reading Sizzle. Do you mind sharing about your current work in progress?

  4. Great post. Interesting interview, and I love the premise of your story. Your post made me laugh, so I'm sure your books would too. Best wishes!

  5. Melissa, I know I've already thanked you for inviting me to visit you, but I really have to do it again because you make every visit such a warm and memorable one.

  6. Hi, Alicia. Thanks so much for visiting and for your good wishes. I'm so glad the post made you laugh. That's what I often try to do. Not always successfully, of course. But I love it when I can actually succeed in giving someone a chuckle or two.

  7. Hi, Melissa: The book I recently finished has a ghost in it, though I don't consider it a paranormal story. It's more a mystery as the hero and heroine try to discover why the ghost has been appearing to the hero on four specific days every year since he was a child and suddenly appears to the heroine as well as soon as she enters his life. It begins on a lighter note because I tend to write more comedic books, but turns a little darker and more wistful toward the end as hero and heroine unravel the story of the ghost's identity. The title (so far) is Dark Eyes. I still haven't submitted it anywhere, but thanks for asking about it. As for my really current WIP, it's also a mystery with a light touch. I finished it quite a while ago and just came upon it again on my hard drive. I know it needs a lot of revision, but I enjoyed some of what I read and thought it might have possibilities, so that's what I'm currently working on.

    1. Thanks, Darcy. The ghost story sounds really interesting. I love ghost stories, although they can be difficult to resolve if one of the protagonists is a spirit. Good luck finding a home for your new manuscript! :D