Monday, December 23, 2013

Author Spotlight: Lyla Dune

Please join me in welcoming Lyla Dune, a writer buddy of mine and talented new author, and her debut novel, LOW TIDE BIKINI, to Kit ‘N Kabookle!

Contemporary Romance with plenty of sizzle and giggle
Reluctant housemates make fun bedfellows…

Sam Carlisle is the double bass player in the all girl jazz ensemble, Bikini Quartet. When her truck breaks down on the drawbridge, a panty-melting muscle man comes to her rescue in the rain. This isn’t the first time her life has resembled a bad country song. She later discovers he’s her new landlord, and she has six weeks to find a new place to live. After a devastating breakup, she swore off men.

Will Brock convince her he’s better than the men from her troubled past?

Brock Knight is a retired rugby player from Wales. He's eager to get away from the paparazzi that hound him day and night. When he moves into his new beach house on Pleasure Island, North Carolina before Sam has a chance to relocate, he learns the proper way to shag.

Will he convince her to stay, or will she convince him she’s gay?

Low Tide Bikini is a funny, sexy romance that will make you laugh and sigh. With naughty naked seniors and an ostrich farm, Pleasure Island has it all. It's a great place to visit, and for Sam and Brock, it just might be the perfect forever home.

***Due to adult content, readers should be 18 years or older.***

~Buy LOW TIDE BIKINI on Amazon and B&N.

~Add it on Goodreads.

EXCERPT

Since Mary played such a big role in the naming of the ostrich, I’m going to share the excerpt that features Robirrrda. Things you may need to know to appreciate this excerpt are: 1) Sam is crushing on her landlord/housemate, but trying to keep a safe distance because she has a history of being attracted to the Mr. Wrong. Since this landlord is the reason she’s having to find a new place to live, she figures that’s a pretty big sign he is another Mr. Wrong. But he’s so darn handsome and charming… After a night of drinking, Sam hitches a ride home with an ostrich farmer…

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What can I say? I’ve got special bird naming abilities.
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There wasn’t enough room for all four of them in the front seat of Carl’s truck. Sam volunteered to ride in the back with the ostrich.

She climbed into the livestock trailer and onto a bed of straw as Carl locked the tailgate. The ostrich turned its back to her, raised its tail feathers, and expelled gloopy, white poop.

Sam covered her nose. ”Gross. God. What do they feed you?”

The ostrich faced her with one of its eyes half closed. "Cluck.”

"Proud of yourself, aren't you?”

Wings rustled, and the ostrich nodded, and then lowered its long neck so its face was eye level with Sam's. Its big, black, shiny eyeballs took her in. Sam struggled to focus on her reflection in the marble-like, bulging globes. She resembled a watermelon on toothpicks. How bizarre.

The truck pulled out of the parking lot, and she stumbled backward. When she put her hand down to brace her fall, something slimy squished between her fingers. She’d palmed that fresh pile of bird crap. “Gross.” She searched for something to wipe her hand on, but there was nothing.

The ostrich inched closer. She petted it, wiping her hand on the bird's feathers. "Good bird. That's a good birdie. Stay right there, Robirrrda. May I call you, Robirrrda? It’s a good birdie name. Wait. Are you a boy?” Sam searched for genitals but saw nothing but feathers. “Nope. You have no balls. Don’t feel bad, neither do I.”

The bird craned its neck downward and sniffed at Sam's petting hand then pecked at it.

"Ouch.” Sam drew her hand back quickly. "Sorry. I didn't know where else to wipe it. Jeez. It was yours anyway.”

The ostrich stamped about and scratched at the straw.

"I'm sorry." Moving to the far corner of the trailer, Sam glared at the bird. "I know what it's like to be cooped up with someone against your will and being unable to leave.”

The ostrich let out a little cluck and sat in the straw, then gazed at Sam, seemingly giving her its undivided attention.

"It sucks. I know it does. Especially when you feel you can't move around as you please.”

For the remainder of the ride home, Sam poured her heart out to the attentive bird. Wiping her running nose on her sleeve, she whispered, "Thanks for listening." Sam wrapped an arm around the bird’s long neck and mumbled, "I love you...”

They were good friends now. They shared that bond that only beer could provide. Well, at least from Sam's perspective. The ostrich may have viewed things differently, but Sam chose to ignore that fact.

---
Okay, Okay! Don’t twist my arm, Lyla. I’ll explain where Robirrrda came from. 

So, very quickly, my sophomore year of college, the school brought in a hypnotist to kick off the year. Some guy went up and got hypnotized while holding a stuffed swan. After he was under, the hypnotist asked him “How’s it going? Is that your bird?”
The kid said it was.
Hypnotist: “What’s its name?”
Kid: “Robirrrda.”
(audience dies laughing)
Hypnotist: “…I’ve heard Ducky. I’ve heard Swanny. Robirrrda’s a new one.”

And the lovable ostrich was born.
---

Let’s get to know Lyla.
-What inspired you to become a writer?

I wrote songs for years before I stumbled across a poetry forum and began writing poetry. Gradually, I shifted from poems to stories, and now I write novels. It was a steady progression. When I received some positive feedback from writers I respected, I decided to give writing an honest shot.

-What draws you to contemporary romance?

I like to write in a wide variety of genres, but what interests me most about contemporary romance is that it’s set in reality, portraying the possibility for true love in our crazy world today. I also think it lends itself to humor, and that’s always fun.

-Name a fun fact you learned researching LOW TIDE BIKINI.

I learned that men recite poetry quite often in Wales. It is a rather common thing over there. Here, men who recite poetry are often viewed as sissies. I’d like to go to Wales (le sigh).

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

In my romance novel, I’d go to drinks with all of them, but I must confess, the zany character, Myrtle, the little old lady, would be a riot to party with. I doubt I could keep up.

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Find yourself a critique group. You can do this in person, online, or a mixture of both, but get some feedback on your work, and be willing to give feedback as well.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I like fiction too much to imagine myself writing a memoir. I simply don’t think my life is all that interesting. Maybe that’s why I enjoy living vicariously through characters.

Lyla Dune has taught music for eighteen years, played saxophone and clarinet in numerous orchestras and ensembles, taught piano, written songs, and repaired more musical instruments than she can recall. Yes, in case you’re wondering, you can fix the rotary valve on a student’s French horn with a paper clip and a rubber band three minutes before the kid’s horn solo at Lincoln Center.

How did Lyla become a writer? A few years ago, she stumbled across a poetry forum online and dabbled in poetry for kicks. She became a word junkie. She’s published poetry, flash fiction, and short stories in many different genres.

She lives on the coast of North Carolina with her husband, Gary, and her cat, Miura. One day, she’d like to have a pet ostrich. She’d name it Robirrrda, after the ostrich in Low Tide Bikini.

Visit Lyla’s website. Connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest, and follow her on Twitter @LylaDune.

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Thanks for stopping by, Lyla. Twas fun!

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