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Friday, 28 February 2014

Feature Friday & Give-Away ~ The Kitchen Dance by Geri G. Taylor

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Welcome to

Feature Friday

The Kitchen Dance

A Novel

by

Geri G. Taylor



                                       Publish date: January 28, 2013                                       
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Book Genre:  Women’s Fiction

Book Blurb:

The Kitchen Dance is a slice of fiction with a serving of mystery, a side order of suspense, a
dash of crime and an extra helping of romance for dessert.

According to Rene Descartes, no two bodies can occupy the same space at the same time and any physical motion of a body involves moving other bodies from the space they occupy. In my first work of contemporary fiction, Joule and Allen create their own movements in THE KITCHEN DANCE.
Joule Dalton, a successful interior designer with a prestigious architectural firm, lived her life choreographed by her loved ones until a tragedy forces her to learn her own steps. Allen Brooks has endured his own share of manipulations and all his hard work and sacrifice has left him with nothing. He wears his troubles like the too large overcoat he picked up at a mission while living on the streets. This coat brings them together in an unexpected way. Joule takes the misfortunate Allen into her home in hopes of turning his life around. She gives him a place to live, a job, even introduces him to her wealthy friends. What she does not give him is her trust. This he must earn. The two combine their dreams and create a wonderful relationship. Then Allen gets a call that will challenge his sense of responsibility. He makes a choice, one that Joule cannot begrudge. Allen struggles with his decision while Joule goes back to her old life until they both realize what they really want.

Book Buy links:






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Author Bio:

With three college degrees and quite the gift for gab, you’d think Geri G. Taylor was a CEO of a major corporation, but she’s got more than that on her plate.  By combining her talents as an artist, an actress, and a published author with her debut novel, The Kitchen Dance, her job of they day might be as simple as for whatever she is in the mood, which usually, it is NOT being a housewife.

She is well known as an artist for the Santas she creates on gourds and cypress knees although she is known to put her artistic touch to a number of things including award winning set designs and as an assistant to an award winning theatrical costume designer.

           As an actress, she had expanded her range from stage to film, but says her favourite roles have been with a professional dinner theatre where the characters interact with the audience. 

Being an author fits seamlessly into Geri’s other talents. She drew stories before she could write and has always had a passion for being a storyteller.  At the age of forty, she decided it was time to write and started with screenplays and stage plays. A college professor advised her to publish her screenplays in book form first, and then peddle the screenplay, in order to keep the stories and characters she had created her own. She finally took his advice, and ten years later, The Kitchen Dance was ready to be published.

What does she do in her “spare” time? Geri is a substitute teacher and says she does it because she knows the teachers need someone who really enjoys being with the students and is capable of teaching their class. She also works for TNTP (The New Teacher’s Project) Academy that trains and certifies teachers who have received their college degrees in something other than education.  Her job is to film the teacher with her class for video observations and proctor student evaluations.

Her husband and two sons keep her busy and their current project, a lake house that they are completely renovating, has given her the chance to wear her carpenter’s “hat” once again.

One of the questions she is commonly asked by people who have read or are interested in reading The Kitchen Dance is, “Would you take in a homeless man?” For several years, Geri and her family have hosted many international students, so the answer is, “yes”.

Author Links:












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Give-Away:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Interview: 

Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
I am working on several things but mostly; I am working on a mystery/suspense novel and another women’s fiction. I predominantly write women’s fiction and I have several screenplays and plays that I will be turning into manuscripts, and as they say, the book is better!
  
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
Create your platform first. Start your blogs, write short stories, develop your fan base on Twitter, Facebook, and your website before you publish your book so that you will have an initial audience for which to promote your book. I wish I had known a year ago what I know now.

Also, join your local chapters of national groups. For example, I joined Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime AFTER I published The Kitchen Dance. Had I joined before, I would have had a lot more support and understanding of the publishing process.

And third, join any authors helping authors support groups online. You’ll get a lot of great advice and if you share their work, articles, websites, etc. They will share yours.

What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us? 
Actually, I am not reading…after being on my laptop most of the day…my eyes need a rest. So, I am enjoying the audiobooks of Alan Bradley’s “Flavia de Luce” series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009) and The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (2010). Since I am doing a lot of traveling for my job over the month of February and March, I am listening to A Red Herring Without Mustard (2011) and then I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (2011).

I am thoroughly enjoying these audio books. I’m not sure I would have actually picked up and read the books, but Jayne Entwistle’s choices of character voices are so appealing that I am rather addicted to the audiobooks, and look forward to hearing more of Flavia’s adventures.

Do you have a favourite quote, if so what is it?
“A real writer knows when to hit the delete key.” Geri G. Taylor 2003

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels? Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?
I usually go through a few titles. The first one is the one that inspired me to write the book. For example: The Kitchen Dance was originally The Coat, then The Lake House but that title has been used before so, when I wrote the kitchen scenes (screenplay) I decided I liked The Kitchen Dance and it grew on me, especially when I found the Descartes quote that really brought the story together.

Are you a morning person or a night owl or an inbetweener?
Both,  morning and night owl because in the afternoon…I am a NAPPER!

What’s your least favourite part of the writing process?
EDITING!

How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?
“A” novel? That’s the tough part. I tend to work on several at once until I narrow it down to two, then I go back and forth until I am well into the one that I am ready to get published.

I am always finding something that makes me think, “I have a character that would do that!” or “What would my character do if that happened?” However, it is usually not a character in the novel I am currently working on so, I have to go make notes on another novel. Over all, it has taken me over ten years to get The Kitchen Dance from a screenplay to a published novel.

How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
When I am trying to create a schedule, I plan for one hour and then see how it goes. Some days, I can’t get to that one hour, but on other days, I will write for five or six.

If you didn’t write or you went through a dry spell (aka a bit of writers block), what would you do to fill the creative void instead?
I’d be acting, or painting, or redecorating my house.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have a story that I want to write in the YA genre that takes place on a tropical island. I would love to visit a tropical island with my teenage son while I finish the novel. Is that really asking too much?

If you had a choice  – a dream come true - which would be your preference: Your books serialised  -  a weekly show or made into movies?
I have one novel I’ve been working on that I would love to pitch as a television series.

Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your novel?
The Kitchen Dance has a lot of truth in it. As much as I love a handsome hunk and a gorgeous women love story, my novel is more about real people with real problems and their pursuit of happiness in spite of their challenges.

Finally, what 7 words best sum up your novel? 
A man, a woman, and an opportunity.

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Book Excerpt:

Chapter Two

Joule

I slid gingerly into the back seat of the musty cab with the overwhelming scent of cherry air freshener failing to mask the stench of human body odor saturating the cab’s interior. I considered changing in one of Elaine’s guest rooms, but knew Philip and Mr. Monroe would disapprove of my breaking the enchantment of the party. Seeing me in my work suit may remove the ambiance of celebration and remind the party-goers of the daily grind.

I looked out the cab’s grungy window. I could feel an old familiar wave of depression washing over me again. Tears filled my eyes and I caught a glimpse of their glisten in my reflection in the window. I searched my handbag for a tissue only to come up empty. I dug in the carryall and found my decorative clutch. I pulled a delicate linen handkerchief from my small bag, careful not to disturb the business cards tossed in with the lipstick and breath mints.

I dabbed at the mascara stinging my eyes. Waterproof, I thought. Tears activated the waxy foundation staining my thin handkerchief.

“I’ll get out up there.” I asked the cab driver to stop in front of a well-lit diner a couple of blocks from my loft. The surrounding street and buildings were dark, damp, and a vicious cold settled over the street and steam danced around above the ventilation grates along the sidewalk. I was accustomed to seeing several homeless people who gathered in the alleys and doorways around the diner. Tonight they were few, most having found refuge from the chill elsewhere.

I knew I looked awkwardly out of place with the hem of my cocktail dress visible beneath my overcoat. I fumbled with my evening purse while balancing the containers of food and my bags from that morning. I fished out some bills from the wallet in my handbag and paid the cab driver. I approached two homeless men and offered them something from one of the containers, handing them a colorful napkin from my coat pocket and giving each an appetizer of meat and cheese and piece of cake. I walked farther down the street. I sat on a bench and looked in my carryall for a comfortable pair of shoes. How I thought I could make it home in these heels, I did not know. Suddenly, a young boy grabbed one of the containers and ran. I stood as if I intended to pursue him.

“Hey!” I called after the young boy, “I would have given you something.” I watched as he slowed, gave me a quick glance and then disappeared into the alley. “At least bring back the container!” I yelled uselessly to the empty sidewalk before me.

Defeated, I sat back down and changed my shoes for my walk home. I should have allowed the cabby to drop me off on the larger street around the corner from the loft. I made it a habit not to get out near the smaller entry door on the narrow and rarely used side street. I preferred in the evening hours to go by the way of the short alley where the rear garage door was located.

I was busy putting on the more sensible pair of shoes and stuffing my haughty stiletto heels in the carryall when I lost track of what was going on around me. Suddenly I sensed someone approaching me. I quickly grabbed for my bags and the other container.

A ragged, fierce looking man stood over me. He slowly extended his ungloved hand, chapped and dirty, cracked by the cold. In his hand was my purse, my delicate glistening evening bag in a filthy hand. I tentatively took the purse from him. “Thank you.” I opened the purse and looked inside.

“I didn’t take anything, Ma’am,” he assured me. “You dropped it back there.” He jerked his head back down the street where I exited the cab.

“No, I didn’t mean that.” I did not intend to insult him. “I just wanted to give you something.”

“It’s okay.” He dismissed my gesture. “I didn’t do it expecting something in return.”

“This purse was a gift. It means a lot to me.” I handed him a twenty, one I kept in the zippered pocket of the small clutch for general mad money purposes.

“No thank you, Ma’am.” He hesitated as if he wanted to accept the money.

He stood over me, his face in shadow, as I scrutinized his thin frame, long dingy hair, and scraggly beard. His jeans and work boots looked extremely worn and not in a fashionable way. He was wearing an oversized tan trench coat that I suddenly recognized. I froze, as if my heart jumped into my throat and I coughed to release it. The coat was like an ethereal being taking the form around this thin, pale, scarecrow of a man. I grabbed the sleeve of the coat and found the stain on the sleeve. It was Daniel’s trench coat.

“Where did you get this coat?” I blurted out almost accusingly.

The poor man attempted to pull free. “Look lady, I didn’t steal it if that’s what you think.”

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Well that's my blogging week over, I'll be back early next week as I'm away for a few days R&R.

In the meantime, many thanks to Geri for sharing her novel with us today and for her excellent interview.  I do hope you enjoy The Kitchen Dance and don't forget to enter the Give-Away for a chance to win a copy!

Have a great weekend


4 comments:

  1. I am so happy that I won the autographed copy of The Kitchen Dance. Can't wait to read it. Thank you again. I will give it a special place in my home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me, again.The Winner of The Kitchen Dance. I was so excited that I won that forgot to add my blog and website address. Here they are:

    http://ksny25.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/desperate-and-disturbed-2/

    www.karynnesummars.com

    ReplyDelete

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