Welcome back to Anna’s World. Today I have another Rebel Ink Press author, JOANNE C. BERROA, with me. We’re chatting about her writing and her newest release, On Angel’s Wings. I’m also over at her place today, where she’s interviewing me about my writing and my newest release. We’ve ‘traded spaces’ for the day. Let’s see what Joanne has to say.
Anna: What inspired you to choose your genre (genres)?
I always loved a good romance, whether it was a book or a motion picture, so it was natural that I would write about what moved me. I’ve been writing romance novels since I was 19.
Anna: I think we’re going to find out we have a lot in common, Joanne. We all have issues with balancing our time between writing, editing, promoting, along with other obligations and personal time. What works best for you?
I just “go with the flow.” If it feels like a writing day, I throw myself into it fully
and all else suffers, but I make up for it the next day, so it all balances itself out
in the long run.
Anna: Sounds like a plan. Now, tell us about your characters. What type of hero do you normally choose? What type of heroine?
My heroes are strong, sexy, passionate and loving—the man we all want.
My heroines are also strong, smart, and daring. Of course, a little beauty doesn’t
Anna: Sounds like my kind of reading. Who are some of your favorite authors? Did they inspire you to write?
Judith McNaught, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Anya Seton, and
Danielle Steel. Both Rosemary and Anya left indelible marks in my mind and
heart and thus inspired me.
Anna: I just knew we had a lot in common. I absolutely loved Kathleen Woodiwiss’s work. I also like Danielle Steel and Anya Seton. Joanne, what has been the most difficult aspect of your writing career?
Dealing with rejection. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s I received enough rejection letters to wallpaper my living room walls.
Anna: I think we can all relate to that. Give us a little dirt about yourself. What’s your favorite guilty indulgence?
Iced coffee and flavored creamers. A little Russell Stover chocolates now and
then. I also have this “thing” about good Italian food.
Anna: I’m not much into the iced coffee, but love my hot coffee and flavored creamers. Now, I can’t wait to hear about your new release. Tell us about your newest book.
On Angels’ Wings was written back in 1984 and shelved when it didn’t sell.
It is now completely rewritten and a far better book. Time only served to create
a better plot and more believable characters.
December 1940 found the world on the brink of a conflict greater than it could ever fathom but for Anne Miller, the days before Pearl Harbor find her world full of excitement and promise. She’s left the comfort of family and friends back in Washington, DC to venture out into the foreign and beautiful Hawaiian landscape to make a new life for herself and her fiancé, Corporal Daniel Beiler.
Little did Anne know her perfect world was just an illusion. She didn’t expect to fall in love with a Navy flier she’d meet at the USO dancehall on the eve of “the day that will live in infamy.” Her love for Daniel is threatened while she fights new and strange emotions for the brave and reckless Lieutenant Johnny Morgan. How can she love both men and remain true to either? Will the outbreak of WWII tear their lives apart or pull them together on the rain-drenched islands of the South Pacific? On Angels’ Wings is a story of desperation, hope, and fulfillment during the tumultuous years of World War II.
Anne was dancing a fox-trot with a young man in a devil’s costume when she noticed a pair of crutches leaning against the side wall. They made her think of Johnny again and she sighed.
Just then, a tall Robin Hood tapped the devil she danced with on the shoulder and said, “May I cut in?”He wore a green, half-face mask. The devil shrugged and released Anne.
The green-costumed Robin Hood swept her up into his arms and pulled her close. Anne gasped as she looked into deep blue eyes. “Johnny?” she asked, breathlessly.
She chuckled. “Johnny, you’re dancing.”
“Uh-huh. I brought my crutches just in case.”
“But you’re dancing without them. I’m thrilled.”
The band signaled it was time for her to return to stage for the next set. Johnny released her then tipped his hat and strode away. She watched him go, noticing a slight limp, but otherwise he was walking without the aid of crutches. A strong sense of pride enveloped her and she almost flew up on stage she was so happy.
She took the microphone and said to the group, “Excuse me, boys, I want to tell you a little story.” The commotion in the hall dimmed. “Someone I know has proven to me tonight he could move mountains and his courage is as big as his heart. When he was down and out with no hope, he said, ‘I’m not going to let this get me down,’ and today he’s accomplished his goal. Fellas, I give you Lieutenant John Morgan.”
Clapping filled the room. Johnny sat in the rear of the hall at a table and shook his head, obviously embarrassed.
“Come up on stage, Lieutenant Morgan. I have a song for you,” Anne said.
Johnny gave up the ghost, pushed back his chair, and stood up. Slowly he made his way on stage and stood next to her. “I’ll get you for this,” he said good-naturedly to Anne.
The band struck up the opening notes and moments later she was pouring her heart out to strains of Frank Sinatra’s Old Black Magic.
“Sing, Lieutenant,” came a few shouts from the crowd.
Johnny chuckled, but surprised Anne by belting out the lyrics to the song flawlessly, as though he’d practiced with her before. His baritone voice was loud and clear and they sounded good together. She sang happily, her eyes locked with his.
He took her hand and held it as he sang, “For you’re the lover I have waited for.”
“The mate that fate had me created for,” she sang.
They finished the remainder of the song in perfect harmony. All during their duet the audience cheered, clapping wildly. Then Burt, on his trumpet, played a slow, romantic ballad called Moonlight Becomes You.
Johnny pulled Anne into his arms. A large mirrored ball suspended from the ceiling rotated slowly as they danced on stage, casting prisms of flickering, bejeweled light cascading around the darkened hall. It shimmered across Johnny’s hair and mask like moon kisses.
She closed her eyes and like the flickering of a hummingbird’s wings, Johnny’s lips brushed her cheek. Her heart beat wildly and she blinked. Though his lips were warm, she shivered.
He pulled her even closer and she felt the heat of his hard, muscular chest wedged against her breasts, the firm pressure of his hands at the small of her back. There was noise and music, song and chatter, but she heard nothing but the excited beating of her own heart in harmony with his.
The song ended and he stepped back. “Thank you, Annie,” he said, bowing to her. Without another word, he went back to his table.
Thanks so much for joining me here today, Joanne. I’ve enjoyed it. Maybe we’ll share a release date again in the future, like we did with your On Angel’s Wings and my Unlikely Lovers.
Everyone else, thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you’d like and stop by Joanna’s place to see her interview with me. Next week, my guest will be the wonderful, Lila Munro, who just happens to be another fellow Rebel author.